Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Vermont Boiled Cider Pi

Jerry Stratton, March 13, 2024

If you’ve got a bunch of cider, one of the ways to preserve it is to turn it into boiled cider. And one of the best ways to use boiled cider is to make a Vermont cider pie!


Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Vrest Orton


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup boiled cider
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 8-inch unbaked pie crust, top and bottom


  1. Stir the sugar, flour, and salt together.
  2. Blend the boiled cider, egg, and cream together.
  3. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  4. Pour into an 8-inch unbaked pie crust and top with another crust.
  5. Poke holes or cut designs in the top crust to let air escape.
  6. Bake at 425° for ten minutes.
  7. Drop the temperature to 325° and bake for another 30-35 minutes.
Cider Pie with Peanut Butter Ice Cream: Boiled Cider Pie and Maple Peanut Butter Ice Cream. Two great Vermont recipes that go great together.; maple; pie; ice cream; Vermont; peanut butter; boiled cider

Cider pie and peanut butter ice cream. Pi Day doesn’t get better than this.

Tomorrow is Pi Day. And have I got a unique pie for you this year!

One of the more obscure discoveries I made while researching the El Molino Best cookbook was Ellen and Vrest Orton’s Cooking with Wholegrains. It was so good that I included their recipe for Green Mountain Hermits in my announcement that I’d made El Molino Best available for download—even though it has nothing to do with El Molino Mills except that if you’d made it in the fifties you might have used their cornmeal.

It was so good that I went looking to see if the Ortons had written any other cookbooks. And it turns out that Vrest Orton, in 1973, wrote The American Cider Book. I was able to find a copy on the Internet Archive and it was unique enough, with enough very interesting recipes, that I tracked down a print copy.

That book provided what is probably my most common breakfast eggnog. It also provided this year’s Pi Day pie, Vermont Boiled Cider Pie.

This is an amazing pie. It’s very much unlike any apple pie I’ve ever had. It’s creamy, rich, and the filling almost literally melts in your mouth.

You may be wondering how to get boiled cider. It’s not generally available outside of the northeast, but it’s easy enough to make if you can get apple cider. Put at least five times as much cider into a pan as you want boiled cider. Then simmer very low for a few hours until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup. That’s the entirety of Vrest Orton’s instructions for making boiled cider.

As it gets close to the correct consistency—about a fifth of the volume with the apple cider I buy—watch very closely. Once the water is mostly gone, it’s basically a syrup. Once it’s a syrup, it’s going to act like any other syrup over heat: skyrocket in temperature as soon as the water has been boiled out of it.

I’ve seen other recipes on the Internet that say to boil the cider until it’s reduced to an eighth of its original volume. This may be true for some ciders—I suspect it’s more true if you start with apple juice instead of cider—but it was not true for me. I burnt my first batch because I thought I had a long time to go before it was done.

The second time I made it, I ignored the Internet and followed Orton’s advice. It worked perfectly.

I’ve also used boiled cider on toast and when making ice cream—a spoiler for this year’s Pi Day bonus recipe—and it’s great as a replacement for corn syrup or molasses in caramel corn.

Boiled cider caramel corn

Vermont Boiled Cider Caramel Corn

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Jerry Stratton


  • ½ cup unpopped popcorn
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp boiled cider
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk


  1. Pop the corn in the oil.
  2. Place in a large, greased, heatproof bowl.
  3. Mix peanuts with the popcorn.
  4. In a medium-large saucepan mix butter, boiled cider, sugars, and milk.
  5. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring until smooth.
  6. Continue heating to 250° (hard ball), stirring occasionally.
  7. Pour over popcorn and nuts.
  8. Stir until well-coated.
Health bread toast with boiled cider: Karen Andrie’s Health Bread from the 2012 Heritage Cookbook, toasted and buttered with boiled apple cider.; bread; Muskegon; boiled cider

Boiled cider is nice on toast, too. Probably great on waffles.

Judging from what it’s like scraping the pan, it would probably make a pretty good fudge, too. It might also benefit from adding a half cup of dried cranberries along with the peanuts. If you replace the salted peanuts with any kind of unsalted nuts, add a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt, too.

For the crust, I used the whole wheat pie crust from El Molino Best. If you want it, go download that cookbook from that page, but any crust should be fine.

Now for that bonus recipe. What goes great with pie? One of the other more interesting cookbooks that I found in 2023 was the 1958 version of A Vermont Cook Book at the now sadly defunct NEISD PTA Used Book Sale in San Antonio.

The Ortons are from Vermont, and boiled cider is very much a Vermont thing. So, rather than giving you yet another pie crust recipe, this year I’m giving you a Vermont ice cream that goes great with this Vermont pie. What better to go with apples than peanut butter? And, what better to go with a rich Vermont pie than a creamy Vermont ice cream?

The Vermont Cook Book calls this recipe “Bridge Triumph”. Serve it alone in a small dessert cup and I’m sure it would indeed be a triumph at any card party. It’s a great, ridiculously easy peanut butter and maple ice cream.

It’s definitely a triumph when paired with boiled cider pie.

Maple Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Vermont Maple and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Miss Mary Keswick
Review: A Vermont Cook Book (Jerry@Goodreads)


  • ¼ cup peanut butter, chilled
  • ½ cup maple syrup, chilled
  • 1-½ cup whipping cream, chilled


  1. Whip peanut butter and syrup together until smooth in a chilled mixing bowl.
  2. Add cream and whip to soft peaks.
  3. Freeze in chilled container overnight.

If you want, of course, you can replace the maple syrup with boiled cider. Because the cider has been boiled down to the consistency of maple syrup, it’s a one-to-one correspondence. I’ve tried it both ways, however, and prefer the maple syrup version. They’re both good.

In response to Lemon icebox pie for Pi Day: Are you ready for Pi Day? If you trust your eggs, there is nothing like pies made from beaten egg yolks and egg whites.

  1. <- Bicentennial Π Day