Well, I blinked and October shot past. There was the hurricane in September, then AppleWeek, and the result was that I suffered a bit of burnout. I took (inadvertently) a couple of weeks off, but I’m back on the horse. The marshmallow horse?
I’ve been intending to make marshmallows for a while, and October seemed like a perfect time to make an Apple Cider version. They aren’t difficult, but they do require some patience and a bit of attention to detail.
I learned a few things when making this recipe, such as: gelatin does not work exactly like Jell-O. You make Jello-O by pouring the packet of sugary colored stuff into hot water and stirring until it dissolves. Pure gelatin does not like hot water. Pure gelatin cooks into awful gooey clumps upon contact with hot liquids. Fortunately for you, I
reread the recipe bit that bullet and now you get a nice, working dessert recipe to round out your Fall archives.
Apple Cider Marshmallows
This is easiest with apple cider that already contains spices, but you can also substitute 1/2 cup of apple cider concentrate; or you can use plain cider with 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg. If you have a hankering for plain marshmallows, skip the cider step entirely and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixing bowl.
Adapted from this recipe.
Vegetable oil, for brushing and greasing
Three 1/4-ounce packets unflavored gelatin
1 cup spiced apple cider
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
Powdered sugar, sifted
Line two pans, 8x8" or bigger, with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides (like handles). Brush the bottom and sides of the pans with vegetable oil; dust with powdered sugar. Set aside.
In a small pot, simmer the cider until it's reduced down to 1/2 cup. Pour into a bowl to cool. When it's no more than warm, whisk in the gelatin.
Meanwhile, combine 2 cups water and granulated sugar in a medium pot. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then heat to a rolling boil until the temperature reaches 250F.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff.
Whisk the cider-gelatin mix into the sugar mixture (if the gelatin has set, microwave it gently). Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly pour in the sugar-gelatin mix. Increase speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is doubled in volume and falls in thick ribbons when the whisk is raised, about 5 minutes.
Pour the mix into the pans. Allow to set at room temperature, at least 2 hours.
To remove marshmallows, use the parchment paper handles to lift the contents out. Cover a baking sheet with more powdered sugar. Cut marshmallows to desired size and place on baking sheet. Toss until they are well coated.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.