the life and times of J T Frey

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Autumn means many things: leaves changing color, temperatures dropping, and picking apples. So a nice crisp cold salad with an apple-themed dressing seems apt. This recipe uses freshly-picked apples to make a thick apple cider "molasses" to help emulsify the dressing.

makes about 1 cup of dressing

Apple Cider Molasses

  • 2 medium apples, cored and diced (with skin on)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp powdered citric acid (optional)


  • cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider molasses
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme (ground)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch black pepper (ground)

To prepare the apple cider molases:

  1. Add the diced apple and water to a small pot over low heat and simmer with the lid on until the apples are soft (easily crushed with the back of spoon).
  2. Puree the mixture with a stick blender.
  3. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and line with a coffee filter or paper towel. Transfer the apple mixture into the strainer. Use the back of a spoon to move the mixture around, allowing the liquid to drain into the bowl. Rinse the pot with ¼ c additional warm water and pour into the strainer.
  4. Move the captured liquid back to the pot and add brown sugar. If the liquid has no tartness, add the citric acid.
  5. Bring back to a simmer (without the lid) and reduce the liquid to a volume of about ¼ cup — it should be thick and syrup-like. The finished molasses should have a strong but sweet apple flavor (and hopefully a nice bite of tartness).

To make the dressing:

  1. Blend all ingredients together until emulsified. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

I used this dressing with spinach, spring mix, julieneed carrot and Jonathan apple, shredded cheddar cheese, and sesame sticks.

The apple cider molasses could also be started from actual apple cider rather than starting from apples. In that case, the brown sugar and citric acid may not be necessary.

Written by Jeff Frey on Saturday October 2, 2021
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