Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

 

Cider House Rules

Apples grown in Ontario are mostly harvested in early fall. While the varieties characteristics are at their peak at this time Ontario apple growers place most of their 1 100 000 000 lbs. harvest into cold storage. These apples are stored just above the freezing mark allowing us to enjoy them year round.

Within a month of being harvested sugars stored within starch molecules in the apples begin to breakdown making the apple’s taste sweeter and lowering their acidity. The longer apples are stored, the sweeter they become. This natural process led to the discovery that as the apples aged they would begin to ferment with their increased sugars which resulted in the production of hard cider.

Although apple cultivation originated along the Nile River, cider making is believed to have originated in England but it was of common practice throughout European monasteries.  Julius Caesar and his armies enjoyed the hard cider they discovered in England upon their arrival in 55 BC and embraced the practise of making hard apple cider. Farm laborers in this era were given a regular cider allowance as part of their wages. In times of harvest and planting the cider allowance was increased to assist with the pains suffered during peak demand endured by the labourers.

The popularity of hard cider grew and eventually made its way to North America. The hard cider industry collapsed during prohibition and has been slowly making a comeback ever since.

Soft cider and mulled cider are commonly enjoyed during the winter months as they can be served hot and they are filled with spices that warm our senses and our bones after playing outside. Try this recipe using Ontario grown apples to make your own cider. Children can assist in not only drinking this wintery beverage but can easily assist in the kitchen with making it.

 

 

Cookin 101

Cookin 101

Home made cider

Ingredients:

20 apples of your choice depending on personal taste

6 cinnamon sticks

4 tbsp. allspice

10 whole cloves

1 tsp. nutmeg

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup maple syrup

 

Method:

Wash the apples in warm running water. Cut the apples into quarters with their skins intact. Take the time to remove the seeds as they contain trace amounts of arsenic.

Place the quartered apples in a large stainless steel stock pot. Add enough water to barely cover the apples. Tie your spices in bundle of cheesecloth and add this to the pot.

Bring the apples to a gentle boil over medium-high heat and let them continue to boil for about an hour uncovered.

Reduce the heat enough to let the apple mixture simmer and stir in the sugar and maple syrup with a wooden spoon. Let the soon to be cider simmer for two hours. After this remove the cider and allow it to cool for an hour.  Remove the spice sachet and discard it.

Next mash the apples with a potato masher or puree them with an immersion blender until smooth and quite pulpy in texture.

Strain the apples through a sieve and extract all of the liquid from the pulp by gently pressing down on it with a spoon. The pulp can now be either discarded or saved for future use as apple sauce or in muffin recipes.

Once the cider has cooled down to room temperature, taste it and adjust the seasoning if you choose. I like to add fresh ginger and lemon juice to mine. As well you may want to add more water if you find the cider to be too thick.

Cider will store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days or it can be frozen to enjoy later for up to 3 months. Reheat the cider as needed in the microwave or on the stove and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 liters

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