Apple flavor, amped: You really shouldn't live without boiled cider.

Ever have a relationship so intense it’s hard to talk about? I find myself stumbling, searching for the right words to convince you to try one of my hands-down favorite ingredients ever. Most of the time I just bring a bottle of boiled cider on the road with me when traveling for the company, hand people a spoonful, and watch their eyes roll back in their heads. No words necessary. But you need to know how amazing this stuff is, so I have to try to tell you.

Better. It makes everything it touches taste better. ApplePieCheddarCrust3_900x600Cake. Icing. Meatloaf. Scones. Salad dressing. Pie. Of course, pieCinnamonAppleSauce_900wCaramels. Ice cream. Pork chops. Applesauce. Roasted butternut squash. Sweet rolls.

WWCiderDoughnutsBrussels sprouts. Doughnuts.

AppleBreadPudding_900x600Chili. Spiced Nuts. Bread Pudding.

CaramelAppleBiscCookies. Cream cheese. Biscuits. Gravy.

AppleTurnover3_900wBacon Jam. Crêpes. Barbecue mop. Pancakes. Oatmeal. Braised cabbage. Bread. Sweet potatoes. Fruitcake. Turnovers.

I’m blithering. Perhaps it would be better if I let one of you talk about it.

Caris, from our KAF Community, has this to say:

“Absolutely essential. This isn’t a knock-you-on-your-rear-end superbright Jolly Rancher-reminiscent green apple flavoring but rather a deep, husky-throated, sly smile of a background note. But what a background note! It’s thick and syrupy, about like maple syrup, with that sort of intensity. I use it in any apple dish I can, but it also proves valuable in apple cider and olive oil vinaigrettes – a tablespoon or so and a nip of honey puts a nice sweet-sour tang into the festivities. It also goes well in apple chutneys, apple drinks, whipped cream, pan sauces, or just about anywhere you’d use apple cider or apple-cider vinegar. A bottle will last a great while in the fridge because a little goes a long way. This one’s a total keeper.”

Can you make it yourself? Sure. It takes hours and a bit of attention, but it’s do-able. PJ has used her crock pot to reduce a gallon of cider to the right syrupy consistency. What you make at home won’t be as clear as what the Wood family makes. Want to see how they do it? Check out this video.

Like all the best relationships, this one lasts, takes on new meaning the more time you spend with it, and rarely if ever disappoints.


Better. Everything you make with boiled cider will taste better. You’ll be drizzling the pure essence of VT greatness in the fall into your food.

Join the hundreds of people who rave about this wonderful ingredient on our site. You’ll see why one of them calls it “Liquid Magic.”

Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid grew up in New Jersey, graduated from Bates College and the Culinary Institute of America, and is presently the Food Editor of Sift magazine. She does demos, appearances, and answers food (and baking) questions from all quarters.


  1. lynn

    I made the apple cider syrup and it turned out delicious! It was a fun project and not too difficult. We found syrup bottles for our homemade product. I have used it in a homemade salad dressing with honey, cider syrup, apple cider vinegar and mayo – very much like white French dressing only better. I also made an apple pie for Thanksgiving – the addition of the cider syrup was absolutely fabulous. I used the recipe on the King Arthur site for Best Apple Pie – everyone loved it. If you have never tried it – get yourself a gallon of cider and put your heavy cast iron Dutch oven to work. It will cook down in a couple of hours to a deep, thick, amber hue. You will get at least 2-3 cups of syrup depending on how long you cook it and what color of syrup appeals to you. The longer is cooks – the deeper the flavor. I paid 2.99 for 1 gallon of fun.

  2. Kim Knemeyer

    I do decorated cookies with royal icing. Would it work in royal icing and if so how much would you add to like a 2 lb. powdered sugar recipe? Also, if it did work, what flavor cookie do you think it would work best with? I love it in my caramels and pies and have been wanting to use it other ways.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It is not recommended to use the boiled cider as a flavoring for royal icing. It would just slide around the icing. Sorry! JoAnn@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Start small. Sometimes a drizzle with add the extra punch you need. It may help to look at similar recipes to see how much is used (in general a tablespoon in baked goods) up to 1/4 cup. Happy baking! Irene@KAF

  3. Maegy

    I tried boiling down cider, with similar results to everyone else’s. What makes my experience a little different was that I didn’t realize that the aroma would also attract the bees from a local beekeeper hives! They were all swarming outside my kitchen door and window screens! Had to leave the house through the front door! 😀

  4. A M Lombardi

    Good Day. I’m trying to improve the taste of my Apple Pie Ice Cream. I just can’t get the flavor to “pop”. I add apple pie filling to the ice cream mix and add additional spices. Any suggestions?
    PS I’m also a Jersey Guy

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi there,
      You may want to try adding some boiled cider to your ice cream base, or creating a swirl with it. It’s really concentrated apple flavor, and could be just the pop you’re looking for. ~ MJ

  5. Jean

    My husband loves apple pie and considers himself an expert apple pie taster. I have varied my apple pie recipe over the years (cut from a newspaper article that appealed to me) but he has never commented on the small changes I made until this year when I added boiled cider. He usually makes a suggestion such as less cinnamon or more apples. But this year he said “this is your best ever pie.”

    The change I made was to switch the recipe’s applejack brandy to boiled cider – and what a difference it made. The filing is cooked somewhat before the pie is baked and uses both Granny Smith apples and another flavorful apple (this year it was Jonathan apples) in equal amounts. The filing is also finished off with cream and rests overnight before the crust is filled and baked. Made this pie for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. So glad I used the boiled cider – it is a hit!

  6. Suzanne

    I just discovered how wonderful this product is and now my kitchen will not be without it! Even the simplest recipes are enhanced with a little boiled cider. I just made a dump cake for a Boss’ Day celebration at my mom’s office. 1 can of Comstock apple pie filling, 1 can of Comstock caramel apple pie filling, 1 Duncan Hines spice cake mix, butter, pecans, and of course, boiled cider. It was gone before lunch started!!


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