When we watch chefs on TV they often have a bottle of wine on hand to splosh into their dishes. In the search for creativity and enhanced flavours, beer and cider are also being used as ingredients.
West Country chef and cider advocate Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall explains why he uses cider in his cooking; “Good cider apples have sweetness and acidity, as well as a spectrum of wonderful flavours ranging from the tannic to the perfumed. Crush the fruit and ferment its juice, and those flavours gain a whole new boozy, toasty, sweet-sharp dimension. Using cider in cooking is a bit like using fruit and wine and perhaps a little vinegar and a pinch of sugar all at the same time. No wonder it can bring a dish alive.”
Local cider maker Aston Manor share the love for this ingredient and have collaborated with Birmingham chefs to put some fizz into new dishes using cider.
Back in December I reported on their collaborations with Pushkar, who created the deliciously slow-roasted ‘Drunken Duck Batak’ with Malvern Oak cider. The bakers at Yorks Bakery Café also made a Toffee Apple Cider Cake with Kingstone Press cider.
Aston Manor’s latest partnership is with Fleet Street Kitchen. When head chef Steve Wakefield was invited to create a dish using Kingstone Press cider,he came up with a fabulous cider marinated lamb cutlets, on a rosemary rosti with apple jus and cider sauce.
As the UK’s largest independent cider maker, Aston Manor has more than 300 acres of orchards in Malvern. This year they are planting 1,000 acres of new orchards to add 350,000 more trees. Managing Director Gordon Johncox said: “In our thirtieth year this is a planting scheme on an enormous scale. This both signals and supports our intention to work with growers to source the best fruit to be able to make top quality cider.”
Look out for more of their anniversary celebrations throughout the year, including the inaugural #FutureFoodies event in June.