Have your cider and eat it too.
By Brooklynn Johnson
Darlene Hayes is a self-taught culinary enthusiast, whose attention moved towards cider after an exciting addition to a new home. “I became interested particularly in cider five or six years ago when my husband and I moved to a house with an apple orchard,” says Hayes. “We had a lot of apples, and you can only make so many pies.”
So Hayes and her husband started making cider. And this interest only grew. Hayes traveled through the states, and even through Europe, tasting along the way and studying different methods in making cider. She even has a few books on the subject, including the recently published “Cider Cocktails-Another Bite of the Apple,” and alongside her trending blog, Turn Them All Into Cider. It wasn’t long until Hayes and her husband met Jeffrey, the founder of ACE Cider. “His place is just down the street from us, and we started going to their tasting room,” says Hayes. ACE has been in the business upward of 20 years, sitting beautifully in California’s Sonoma County. ACE offers seven different ciders, including fun flavors like honey apple and pineapple.
The collaboration between these two seems natural.
“I wanted a dessert that was sweet and not too heavy,” says Hayes. “The pumpkin cider in particular really lends itself to this kind of thing, because not only does it have the pumpkin-y flavor but it’s got a really nice level of spice,” says Hayes. The spice comes from the clove, cinnamon and allspice used in flavoring the pumpkin cider.
Check out Hayes’ recipe for a scrumptious cider tea cake.
Ace Cider Tea Cake
Ingredients for cake:
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt
4 ounces softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup ACE cider
½ cup dried apples, chopped
Ingredients for glaze:
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp of cider (the same one used in the cake)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350º F, and lightly butter a loaf pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, and salt. Beat the softened butter and the sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, stirring until fully mixed. Stir in the cider and the dried apples, then add the flour mixture 1/3 cup at a time. Pour into the prepared loaf pan, then bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the pan cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely. Mix all ingredients for the glaze until thoroughly blended. Drizzle over the cooled cake. It is best to do this at least an hour before you plan to serve the cake so that the glaze has a chance to set.