How to cook with apple cider

Three ways to use fall’s favorite drink

Hot off the press
Thomas J. Story

Hot off the press

Piper Davis has a sweet spot for cider. Each fall, she and her extended family gather at their orchard in southeastern Washington for apple-pressing parties, lugging home big jugs of homemade cider afterward. “It’s like drinking a fresh apple,” says Davis, co-owner and cuisine director of Grand Central Bakery (founded by her mom) in Portland and Seattle. “It’s bright, but complex. There’s life in it.”

That complexity has broad applications in cooking too. “Cider plays the role of the wine, the added sugar, the stock,” says Davis, who coauthored The Grand Central Baking Book (Ten Speed Press, 2009). “It touches a lot of bases.”

Davis recommends hitting farmers’ markets and grocery stores in the fall for cider that’s been pressed as recently as possible (she prefers unpasteurized). Then use it in everything from salad to stew—and some amazing doughnuts.

Davis cohosts a cider pressing and doughnut fry Oct 5 at Grand Central Bakery’s Fremont store in Portland; grandcentralbakery.com

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