Cider is made from fermenting apples to obtain a sweet, natural drink, most often enjoyed warm in the cool, autumn months. Although apples are usually used, pears are another option for cider making. Making traditional fermented pear cider -- also known as perry -- takes months. However, if you want pear cider at home in little time, you can approximate the taste of fermented cider in a few hours. Make it fresher by pressing your own pears.
Collect and peel the pears using a paring knife or vegetable peeler.
Core and chop the pears into 2.5 cm cubes. Discard the core. Use either a knife or an apple slicer.
Place a large piece of muslin into the plastic bucket. The muslin should cover the bottom and the sides of the bucket. Add the cut up pears to the bucket, on top of the muslin.
Press and crush the pears into the muslin using a clean, untreated piece of timber. Once the pears are fully crushed, gather the four corners of the muslin around an 50 cm long broom handle or dowel rod. Tie the corners together. Holding the muslin in one hand and the handle in the other, twist the fabric and handle in opposite directions. This will squeeze the last of the juice out of the pears and into the bucket.
Place one 4.5 litres of pear juice into a large pot. Add the dark brown sugar, whole cloves, whole peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, salt, nutmeg and whole allspice berries to the pear juice. Stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
Cut an orange into thin slices across the width of the orange. Drop the oranges into the simmering mixture.
Remove the mixture from the heat and leave it to soak for a minimum of 20 minutes.
Serve the completed cider either warm or chilled. Store leftover cider in a sealed container.
Choose fresh pears that are firm, but not hard.
If desired, you can substitute half of the pear juice with an equal amount of apple juice.
This recipe can also be made in a slow-cooker.
To turn this recipe alcoholic, add one cup of alcoholic schnapps.