Making Lemon Cider Sauce

What happens when you garnish a rustic, thrown-together dessert with a hastily prepared sauce? Sudden, unexpected elegance is what. Lemon cider sauce is supremely simple. You can pull it together in about five minutes. Drizzle it around a fat slice of gingerbread cake, over ice cream…whatever strikes your fancy. It’s terrific with poached fruit. Combine the sugar, spices, cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan.

Set it over medium-high heat and add the cider.

Whisk it until it comes to a simmer, then keep it on the low boil for about one minute. It won’t get any thicker after that. You want it thick enough so you can see a stripe when you run your finger down the back of a spoon. Remove it from the heat.

Then immediately stir in the lemon juice and zest. Wanna add a shot of bourbon? Hell I won’t stop you.

Done! Serve it warm.

8 thoughts on “Making Lemon Cider Sauce”

  1. Oh my word, over poached fruit. That would be my pick of ways to use this sauce! I love that you demonstrated the stripe on the back of the spoon. Recipes call for that all the time, and I wonder what it looks like exactly. Helpful, since I’m making Bavarian Cream tomorrow!

    1. Just scroll down, Cheryl!

      Or look up the sauce under “sauces” in Pastry Components. You’ll find the recipe either way. Cheers,

      – Joe

  2. Sounds delicious and versatile but I’m curious why you call it “cider” and not just a sauce.

    Not the first time I’m confused about the word “cider”. I grew up in an apple producing area of NYS and what we referred to as cider was the virgin unfiltered stuff that was pressed out of fresh apples. (Not to be confused with hard cider which was the same stuff left to ferment into an alcoholic brew.)

    Now in the markets of Southern California all kinds of things are called “cider” most of them filtered and pretty clearly processed and just about as far away from fresh pressed natural juice as you can imagine. In fact, what most closely resembles my concept of apple cider is more likely to be called a “juice” (e.g., the Flash Pasturized Apple Juice Trader Joe’s sells from their dairy case) and what to my mind is clearly a filtered juice is sold as cider.

    What is a “cider” and what is merely juice and what is a sauce? …if in fact there are any real defining characteristic.

    1. Hey Rainey!

      My definition of cider is the same as yours: unfiltered fresh apple juice. Combined with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and such, I call it a sauce. Does that not make sense? I may have muddled things, that would be very “me”.

      – Joe

  3. Hey! If you come up with something delicious I guess you get to call it by any name that fits your concept of things. And it sounds like a definite winner!

    I was speaking about the larger use of the word “cider” that I have a different understanding of than the West Coast if not the rest of the country…

    But, OH!, I do miss those cider mills where you could just hold your gallon jug up to the spigot where the juice collected as it squeezed out of the presses! It’s been 40 years since I lived in the Hudson Valley and that particular memory is as fresh and special as ever.

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