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Christmas Wassail

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Cook: 25 min.

Makes

42 servings (3/4 cup each)

"After everyone is served cups of steaming, spiced cider, we all give the wassail toast," Patricia Atkins, Palmer Lake, Colorado, says of the ancient beverage. "Be whole. Good health to you."

Ingredients

  • 3 medium McIntosh or Rome apples, halved and cored
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 gallons apple cider or juice, divided
  • 2 medium navel oranges, halved and sliced
  • 2 medium lemons, halved and sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches), halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place apples in an 8-in. square baking dish, cut side down. Pour water around apples. Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.
  2. When cool enough to handle, scoop out pulp from apples and place in a blender; discard apple peel. Add 1/2 cup cider to blender; cover and process until smooth.
  3. In a stockpot, combine remaining ingredients, apple puree and remaining cider. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. If desired, discard citrus slices and cinnamon stick before serving.
  4. Freeze option: If making in advance, you can cover and freeze the uncooked pie for up to 3 months. To use the frozen pie, bake at 375° for 70 minutes.

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