Door County (my home area!) is full of wonderful locally-made products. One of my favorites is the hard cider made at Island Orchard Cider located in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin.
Made in the French-style, the ciders use apples, pears and our locally-grown Montmorency cherries as a base. The cider’s low alcohol level make them perfect for cooking….and they are all gluten free.
Here is a delicious recipe that incorporates Island Orchard Cider into a topping for vanilla ice cream. Make it ahead and store in the refrigerator. It will be keep for several weeks refrigerated. If you are feeling ambitious, make some homemade crepes, fill them with whipped cream and finish with the delicious cider-infused fruit.
Door County Island Orchard Marinated Fruit
I like to use their Apple Cherry hard cider, but the Pear cider works nicely as well!
Make approximately 2 cups
- 2 firm cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hard cider (cherry apple or pear cider work well)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- one teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or the scraping of the inside of one vanilla bean
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped dried figs
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
- 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- optional - 1 to 2 teaspoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water (use as needed)
- Place the butter in a large saute pan. When hot, add the apples and toss to lightly coat in butter. Let sauté until lightly brown. Add more butter only if the apples are sticking. Too much butter will not allow the apples to caramelize.
- Deglaze the pan with the two tablespoons of hard cider.
- Add the additional cider, brown sugar, vanilla or scraped vanilla bean and spices. Add the dried fruit. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, allowing the mixture to reduce and thicken. The dried fruit will absorb some of the liquid and should create a syrup-like sauce. If the sauce appears to thin, simply dissolve the optional cornstarch with some water. While on a simmer, drizzle enough of the mixture into the hot fruit sauce to thicken.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. If not using immediately, let mixture cool then store in the refrigerator.