Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Jericho Cider Mill and Crispin and Idared Apples

I’ve passed the white clapboard structure for years, and only visited briefly in high school. But, every time I travel route 106 I note the line of cars at the side of the road and the clusters of people, particularly in autumn. As it is the harvest season – and as we continue our quest for exceptional food – the time seems right for a visit to Long Island’s Jericho Cider Mill.

The Jericho Cider Mill is a piece of Long Island’s forgotten history in plain sight. A brief article in the New York Times provides the backstory. The mill was built around 1918. Local farmers and workers from Long Island’s exclusive Gold Coast estates would come to trade their surplus apples for cider.

Cider has been made on the premises annually since the mill was purchased by the Zulkofske family in 1938. The only ingredient used in the cider is fresh, ripe apples. There are also plenty of baked goods and fresh apples to be found.

Long Island has been blessed with a beautiful autumn. Nearly every weekend has been picture perfect for biking, hiking, oyster festivals and crisp, juicy apples. As I approach the mill, the first thing I spot is hundreds of enormous red, green and gold apples piled in large, rustic wooden crates and glistening in the morning sun.

The pale green Crispin apple has a Japanese origin. It was originally called Mutsu, but renamed Crispin in the late 1960s. A relative of the Golden Delicious apple, it is sweet, crisp and juicy and excellent for eating and baking – equally good for salads and pies.

The Idared runs blush pink to green to red in color and is firm and tart – a cooking apple good for pies and tarts. Idared is a cross between the Jonathan and Wagener apples and was developed in Idaho and introduced in 1941. I use a combination of the Crispin and Idared in one of my Thanksgiving pies – an Apple Crumb Pie with an almond nut crust and topping.

I also purchase a small jug of cider made on the premises at the Jericho Cider Mill. It tastes sweet, bright and clean – not cloying like most commercial cider varieties. Amy Traverso, author of “The Apple Lover’s Cookbook” says that cider pairs particularly well with cheese. Traverso says that’s because cider has more yeast flavors that mimic the nutty and tangy notes in cheese. She recommends pairing cider with cheeses that have flavor profiles of nuts, caramel and fruits, so I pair my Jericho apple cider with a nutty Manchego from Spain. It is a delicious match!

©2011 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Barbara said...

These are the times I miss Michigan! We had a cider mill nearby and we made after-school trips frequently. Their cider was perfect and their donuts were hot and full of fall spices. You couldn't get within a mile of the place on the weekend. The trees all golden and the smell of apples being crushed for cider or made into pies! Love it.

~~louise~~ said...

And these are the times I miss Long Island...Although we have bushels of apple varieties here in PA, my heart belongs to the Jericho Cider Mill a familiar Autumn stop on my way home from work long ago. {sigh}

"Apple Pie without the Cheese is like a Kiss without the squeeze"~Park Benjamin

Thanks for sharing, T.W. Your pie looks delicious!

P.S. We found the Sage; in the garage:)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

To me, there is nothing better than cider fresh from the cider mill. What I don't drink right away becomes the basis for soups and stews.

Kat said...

I love a good tart apple. The Apple pie crisp looks delicious. Thanks for all the great posts. I love reading about places such as this.

Gloria Baker said...

I love apples and your pictures apples are beautiful:)
Normally we use apples around all the year, but this year (we are in spring) are so cost! I have to wait by my apple trees, Thomas I will post a recipe about mussels and garlic (the next) you inspired me:)

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

This is the time of the year when I miss the northeast. I remember well the first time I tasted an Idared. What a fabulous apple. Wish I had some of that cider too.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a perfect way to spend a day. Apple desserts and cider are favorite treats of mine and I truly love this time of year. The world smells of cinnamon and cloves :-). I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Blessings...Mary

Gloria Baker said...

Thomas today I made a post inspired in your post about growing garlic:) If you want to see later, of course I linked my post to you, gloria

Andrea Meyers said...

We have apple orchards close by, and oh how I wish we had a cider mill.

Natalia said...

Oh my goodness! You've convinced me it's time for a trip over there with the little man!

chow and chatter said...

looks like a great place came over from Gloria's blog :-)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely & charming place to visit!
Thank you also for the great info! I learned something new now!

Superb pics too! ;)

Catherine said...

Dear T.W., I am not sure if my comment I am commenting again.
Just said..I didn't know about this place. It looks like great fun to visit. I really would love trying all of the different apples and buying one of the cookbooks. I just love these little specialty cookbooks. Have a great day. Blessings, Catherine