As we settle into fall, it’s the perfect time to start cooking again. Sure, you’ve been grilling all summer, making salads and the occasional tomato sandwich, but admit it—how many times during a heatwave did you eat half a watermelon, chug a cider or two and call that dinner? Cooler temperatures mean that it’s finally acceptable to fire up the oven again, so here are eight of our current favorite recipes (all of which include cider, of course) to help get you in the cooking mood this fall.
Autumn is for apples, no doubt about it, and we hope you’re well stocked with plenty of Jack’s Hard Cider for easy sipping on crisp evenings and relaxed weekends. But after a long day of raking leaves and picking pumpkins (or, you know, just hanging with friends), something a bit stronger might be in order.
Cracking open a can of Jack’s Original for a cranberry spice cocktail from Food & Wine would make an excellent transitional drink; the cranberries and ginger feel autumnal, but the addition of Aperol and Lillet remind us of sunny summer days.
This pear cider and bourbon cocktail from Southern Living magazine makes great use of Jack’s Pear Cider, and plays off the classic combo that is bourbon, apples and pears—and we love that it incorporates real fruit!
Fall is all about weekend gatherings. Pumpkin carvings, movie nights and tailgating are cozy, convivial ways to stay social as the weather turns, and all of those friendly opportunities require snacks. Chips and dip, among the easiest of the homemade snacks to pull off, are a superb way to add a bit of hard cider to the table. Try the Jack’s Hard Cider Dip, which has occasionally been served at Hauser Estate (where our production facility is located), a fun twist on the standard creamy ranch-style dip. Looking for something a bit more decadent to warm up a cold night? It doesn’t get any better than warm, gooey cheese fondue, spiked with Jack’s. Pair it with a loaf of crusty bread from your local bakery, and you’ve got a serious treat for an intimate group or a real winner on date night.
What could be more autumnal than a whole roasted chicken? This simple, rustic meal has been a dinner mainstay for centuries, and for good reason: it’s a hearty, one-pot, crowd-pleasing solution for mealtime. Served with a composed salad, roast chicken makes a lovely celebratory meal, but it can also be down-to-earth with a handful of carrots and potatoes tucked into the roasting pan along with the bird.
We’re loving the riff on beer can chicken that our sales rep, Chris Dayton, shared recently on social media: Jack’s can chicken! Essentially, you can use your go-to beer can chicken recipe and simply replace the beer for a can of Jack’s, which will help to make the meat sweet, juicy and flavorful.
We first saw this recipe for vegan cider-infused chili in a recipe roundup from our friends over at Cider Culture, originally linked from Hard Cider International. With a mountain of beans, sweet potatoes, a bunch of spices and a healthy pour of hard cider, no one will miss the meat in this fall-tastic recipe. Bake up a pan of gluten-free spiced apple cornbread (subbing out the spiced cider for hard cider) to go with it, and you’ve got an incredible potluck-ready meal on your hands.
For a sweet, seasonal cider dessert, we turned to Polly Patrono-Carson from Jack’s/Hauser Estate, who is known for her mean baking skills. She suggested these apple cider dumplings, which are relatively easy to make, but super impressive to serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Want to try it at home? Polly kindly shared this recipe that she adapted from one of her favorites: The Pioneer Woman.
Apple Cider Dumplings
- 2–3 apples, any variety
- 2 8-ounce cans crescent rolls
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Ground cinnamon, to taste
- 1 can (12 ounces) Jack’s Hard Cider, Helen’s Blend or Original
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into eight slices.
- Roll each apple slice (maybe two, if using smaller apples) in a crescent roll.
- Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.
- Melt butter, then add sugar and stir a bit.
- Stir in vanilla and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour cider around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 40 minutes.
- Serve warm on their own, or with whipped cream or ice cream.
What are you looking forward to cooking this fall? Whatever you’re dishing up, remember that Jack’s Hard Cider not only pairs well with food, but makes a great ingredient, too!
Jack’s Hard Cider — Produced from Pennsylvania Apples. Pressed On-Site. Never from Concentrate.
Photos, top to bottom: Bigstock (first two photos); Chris Dayton; Polly Patrono-Carlson