I made some syrup today that I intend to use mostly to backsweeten cider. It came out really well, so I thought I would share.
5 lbs of gala apples. This was last years crop, but for this application it isn't important.
6 quarts of apple juice. I used Members Mark 100% apple juice.
1/2 cup lemon juice. I used ReaLemon brand.
1.5 quarts filtered water. My tap water tastes bad.
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 tsp almond extract. This was a really good almond extract I got at an Asian market. You would probably want to double that with standard extract.
1/4 tsp nutmeg
20 lbs granulated sugar. No, that isn't a typo.
Yields between 12 and 13 quarts of syrup.
Pour the filtered water and lemon juice into a very large pot. I used a 24 quart stock pot, but anything that is 14 or more should work. Stem, peel, core, and slice the apples. Place each one in the pot and make sure it is coated on all sides with the water and lemon juice. The acid in the lemon juice will break down the enzymes in the apple that usually turns them brown.
Add the apple juice and spices to the pot and stir until combined. Bring the liquid to a boil. Cook with the lid on until the apples are soft all the way through. Use a slotted spoon or spider to fish the apples out into a heat resistant container.
Turn the heat down to low. Add the sugar to the pot, and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, let cool, and bottle.
The resulting syrup is sweet, but not sickeningly so. It's good in any situation you would use maple syrup. It's also perfect for back sweetening cider. It does have a reasonable amount of flavor from the spices, so it isn't ideal for a refreshing cider. If you are wanting a crisper brew after backsweetening, then omit the spices from the recipe.