Turn Leftover Apple Cider Into Caramel

Around this time of year, I usually get tired of drinking apple cider, but I have plenty of it in my fridge. I love the taste and smell and it still gives me a cozy winter vibe. I just won’t drink it anymore. Instead, I’ll eat it. Get rid of the remaining quart of apple cider by turning it into apple cider caramel.

In my opinion, there is always a place for candy, and this procedure is damn simple. Using the same technique I described for making apple pancake syrup , bring the apple cider to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat without a lid. The water will slowly evaporate over about two hours. It’s pretty passive; just walk past it every 30 minutes or so and stir. After it has reduced to about two cups of liquid, the cider will have a dense layer of bubbles on top.

At this point, you can stop and let it cool and you will have a delicious runny syrup, but keep making caramel. Continue to heat and stir frequently, using a rubber spatula to ensure firm contact with the bottom and sides of the pot. You are looking for a dense mass of small bubbles and a temperature of 240°F. I would like to say that you can see it by eye, but the candy thermometer really helps here. The last 15 minutes is a slow rise in temperature to 240°F (this is called the soft ball stage of sugar processing), so a thermometer can help you avoid overcooking or undercooking.

Turn off the heat and add a small amount of butter and ground cinnamon. I started with a gallon of apple cider and used two tablespoons of oil and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour the caramel mixture into a small baking dish or bread pan that has been oiled and lined with parchment paper. I used a Pyrex bread pan , oiled it and crossed two strips of parchment paper along the bottom. Let cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, then place the caramel in the refrigerator for two hours to set.

Once set, take the caramel mass out of the container and cut it into bite-sized pieces with a well-oiled knife. If the caramel sticks to the dish, loosen it with an oiled spoon or knife. Be sure to oil the knife blade between each cut so that the caramel doesn’t stick to it. These sweets are a fantastic second life for your apple cider. They have a soft, chewy texture somewhere between caramel and Turkish delight, a very tangy apple flavor, and a hint of cinnamon adds a mild warmth. Wrap these candies in tiny individual squares of waxed paper or toss them in a thin layer of cornstarch to keep them from sticking to each other. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container on the counter for six to nine months .

Soft caramel with apple cider


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Butter a bread pan or small baking dish and line it with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, boil the apple cider over medium heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Once the cider has reduced to about one-sixth of its volume, it will begin to foam. Continue heating, stirring frequently, until the syrup reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer. Turn off the heat and stir in the oil and cinnamon until completely dissolved.

Pour the caramel mixture into the prepared pan. Let it cool for 10 minutes at room temperature. Place the dish in the refrigerator to set completely, about 2 hours. After hardening, cut the caramel with a buttered knife. Wrap them individually in wax paper or dust them with a thin layer of cornstarch to keep them from sticking together.


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