So mead is a thing.
I keep seeing people talking about honey wine, or even worse ‘honey wine’ with air quotes. The term is mead, and mead is one of the oldest wines in the world (or so I’m told anyway).
Mead becomes different things when stuff gets added to it-a cyser is sort of the hybrid love child between hard cider and mead. It’s smooth, full of honey and apple flavors. The one that I had the honor of enjoying on Saturday was like drinking a pie.
If I had the foresight I would have made this project with mead-but I had a South African Chenen in the fridge. Spiced with pie spices and smoothed out with honey, I’m hoping to use this over pound cake for winter holiday desserts.
*I did this project twice, one with a hot pack and the other with a raw pack. It seemed to work better with raw pack.
Cyser-style Spiked Fall Fruit
Assorted apples and pears-I used Bosc pears and assorted wild apples
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about one tablespoon to 2 cups of fruit)
Chenen (or mead, or favored semi-sweet to dry white wine)
Peel, core, and chop apples and pears and let soak in a lemon/water bath.
In a sauce pan, combine wine, water, lemon juice, pie spice, and honey to make a spiked syrup. I used a rough 1:1 ratio of wine to water and about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup honey. Use spice to taste.
Pack hot, sterilized jars with drained fruit to 1/2 inch headspace. Add hot syrup to 1/2 inch headspace and adjust. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes for pints.
*Output is adjustable to the amount of fruit and wine available.
-I’ve been making these for a few months now. I generally now add acid to the jar like I’m making tomatoes, just for peace of mind. I also tend to not dilute the wine as much per batch either. Wine and grape juice are roughly equivalent in acidity [table wine generally ranges from 3.3 to 3.7, with grape juice being around 3.8, which are both higher than a tomato at 4.6-both the grape juice and wine average close to the acidity level of most apples], but just to cover my bases I add more lemon juice now.