I can’t believe what difference a week makes. First we’re surprised by the most amazing Indian Summer resulting in the hottest October on record in the UK – back are the Havaianas, summer dresses and sun glasses – and the next thing I know, a week later I have to turn the heating on! I also suddenly realise how much shorter the days have become and all I want is to snuggle up with my blanket in front of the telly and sip my mum’s hot apple tea.
I’m straight on the phone to my mum, who’s recently moved back to Croatia with my dad (can you imagine how upsetting it was to be told it’s still hot there?), to ask for her delicious apple tea recipe she always used to make on cold, wet winter days when we lived in Munich.
I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it is to prepare and encourage everyone who likes apples to give it a go.
The apple tea can also be served as a light pudding as the apple pieces taste delicious after a large meal.
Apple Tea Cheat
In case you don’t have 10 minutes to spare to make the apple tea from scratch, use 100% apple juice instead, preferably pressed and not from concentrate. It doesn’t require any additional sugar, in fact, I add a bit more water as I find the apple tea made from juice becomes very sweet when heated. Add the cinnamon and other spices such as nutmeg, cloves or star anise, pick what you like or have at hand.
Apple Tea Ingredients:
Source: My mum
Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- 2-3 apples (pealed, cored and thickly sliced)
- 50g/2 oz sugar (I don’t like my tea too sweet, you might want to add a little extra at the end if you have a sweet tooth)
- 1l/4 cups water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1-2 star anise (optional)
- Any other spices you may like such as cardamon, nutmeg or cloves are all delicious
- Juice of one lemon
Apple Tea Preparation
1. Caramelise the sugar in a medium sized pan.
ATTENTION: Be very careful when handling caramelised sugar as it’s extremely hot and can cause severe skin damage, kids and pets are best kept out of the kitchen during preparation.
Tip: Don’t stir the sugar while it’s caramelising, just tilt and move the pan from left to right if you’re worried it may burn on one side. The sugar doesn’t have to caramelise perfectly, it’s just for flavour and doesn’t have to look pretty. Be careful not to burn it as it will taste bitter.
2. In the meantime, peal, core and thickly slice the apples.
Tip: Always keep an eye on the sugar as in small quantities it melts (and burns) very quickly.
3. Bring the water to boil.
4. As soon as the sugar has caramelised, add the apples and hot water.
Tip: Be careful when adding the apples and water as it might sizzle up and burn you.
5. Add the spices.
6. Bring everything to boil and turn down and let simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
7. Stir occasionally, making sure you scratch the sugar of the corner of the pan.
8. Before serving, add a little lemon juice to enhance the flavour but it’s not necessary if the apples are very sour.
9. Serve in a mug with apple pieces and a spoon.
Tip: The apple tea tastes even better if you make it the day before and let the apples and spices infuse over night.