MATTHEW EVANS’ MULLED CIDER WITH PRETZELS
Matthew Evans’ mulled cider recipe has us wishing it were wine time earlier.
The berries and citrus and spices sound divine. Pair with a traditional pretzel and you have no reason to leave home ever again.
Good cider is all very well when you’re hot, but a warming version of the same drink is just as welcome in winter. In the absence of sugar cubes, use regular sugar and slices of lemon or some lemon zest in the mix.
1.5L good-quality cider
1 tsp blade mace*
2 cinnamon sticks
8 native pepper berries*,
½ tsp grated fresh nutmeg
10 sugar cubes
2 tbs honey
5 tbs brandy or apple brandy, (optional)
1. Place 500ml cider into a saucepan with mace, cinnamon, pepper and ¼ tsp nutmeg. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, rub sugar cubes all over the lemon rind to extract the oil. Add the sugar to the cider and stir to dissolve.
3. Add remaining cider and increase heat until mixture is just below boiling. Add honey, brandy and extra nutmeg, if desired. Strain to remove the whole spices if you prefer. Serve hot or warm.
*Blade mace, from selected spice shops, is the dried outer layer of the nutmeg seed. Substitute a reduced quantity of nutmeg.
*Native pepper berries are from selected spice shops. Substitute 4 black peppercorns.
Photographer: Alan Benson
Styling: Michelle Crawford
Traditional laugenbrezeln are dipped in a lye (sodium hydroxide) solution, which gives the pretzels their dark brown, smooth glaze and slight crunch. As lye is only available for industrial use, we’ve used a bicarbonate of soda solution. For best results, start a day ahead.
7g sachet dried yeast
1 tsp caster sugar
375ml (1½ cups) lukewarm milk
525g (3½ cups) plain flour, sifted
1 tbs bicarbonate of soda
1 tbs coarse salt
Cooked weisswurst* and sweet mustard,
1. Dissolve yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl. Place flour and 1 tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and stir in yeast mixture until just combined. Knead for 10 minutes or until mixture forms a soft, smooth and elastic dough. Cover with plastic wrap and stand for 5 minutes.
2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into 60cm-long thin logs. Working with one log at a time, lift up the two ends to make a U-shape, then place the curved end of the
U on a oven tray. Cross ends over each other once, then bring both ends back up to the curved U to form a pretzel shape, and press ends lightly to seal. Rest, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. This helps form a ‘skin’ on the dough and gives the pretzels a crisp shell.
3. Preheat oven to 220C. Place bicarb soda, 1 tbs salt and 1L water in a saucepan over high heat and stir to dissolve. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Pick up a pretzel and immerse in the solution for 10 seconds. Return to tray. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Scatter with coarse salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with weisswurst and mustard.
* Weisswurst is a traditional white Bavarian sausage made from finely minced veal. It is available from selected butchers and delis.
Recipe: Angela Nahas and Dixie Elliot
Photography: John Laurie
*Recipes from the June issue of SBS Feast magazine. Subscribe now