Fall is the perfect setting for warm sweaters, jeans and bon fires. Oh, and the smell of fall, is amazing. Everything smells of crispness, clean air, and fall flavors. What does fall taste like? nutmeg and brown sugar and pumpkin and cinnamon, and so much more. Listed below are other flavors besides pumpkin spice to associate with fall.
• Apple: Apple season is associated with fall, because it’s the start of apple picking. To have an apple that you picked yourself right off the tree is amazing. And with the bushel of apples that you worked so hard to pick you can make your favorite apple crisp.
• Pear: Pear harvest is between August and October. This fruit is another great option for your fall menus; great for salads, pear crumble and a nice cup of pear cider.
• Maple: Though maple is a staple for all seasons, but it is more exciting during the fall. The smell can invoke, lazy, cool, Sunday morning breakfasts of pancakes and maple bacon, with maple spice lattes. Evenings by a fire with a maple syrup cocktail can complete a wonderful day of apple picking.
• Ginger: Though ginger is most associated with gingerbread houses at Christmas time. But for fall, ginger snap cookies are the perfect autumn cookie with a wonderful cup of hot tea on those cool evenings.
Slow Cooker Pear Cider
8 medium pears, assorted types 1 whole nutmeg
1 orange 2 teaspoons whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks 6 cups filtered water
2 – star anise 1/3 cup maple syrup
2-3 slices of fresh ginger
1. Wash the pears and orange then cut into quarters. Seeds, peels and stems are OK. Place the fruit in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, ginger slices, nutmeg and cloves.
2. Fill to the top of the slow cooker with water, leaving about an ¼-1/2 inch of space at the top. Cook on high heat for 3-4 hours or on low heat for 6-8 hours.
3. An hour before the cider is done cooking, use a potato masher to mash the fruit once it is softened. Cook for an additional hour.
4. Strain the pear cider through a fine-mesh strainer or cheese cloth into a clean pitcher or pot, pressing on the solids to get all of the juice out of the fruit. Stir in the maple syrup until it is dissolved and serve hot.
5. The cider can be stored in a heat-safe container for up to 5 days.