The Crispin Cider Thanksgiving Contest

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

This piece is sponsored by Crispin Cider Company

The Crispin Cider Company and the Heavy Table invite all ambitious Thanksgiving chefs to carve away at creating some new Crispin-kissed holiday recipes. Category winners will receive $75 gift certificates to Surdyk’s in Minneapolis.

There are two categories for entries — contestants may enter either or both, up to two submissions total. Send your entries to

Traditional Turkey: A Thanksgiving recipe involving turkey and using Crispin Hard Cider. (See sample below.)

Non-Traditional: A recipe involving another Thanksgiving-friendly meat or vegetarian meat substitute — could be roast leg of lamb, goose, duck, wild game, and so forth. (See sample below.)

Photographs are helpful, to demonstrate plating. These may be published.

Crispin is a crisp (not “sweet beer style”) super-premium natural hard apple cider especially designed to be enjoyed over ice. There are three distinctive varietals — Original is crisp over ice, Brut is European-style extra dry over ice, and Light is the first light cider in the US and is bright over ice.

Recipes should specify whether you are using Crispin Original, Brut, or Light varietals.

The contest will run from November 2 through midnight Wednesday, November 18. Winners will be announced by Nov. 20. Prizes will be awarded to winners in both categories.

Crispin Cider Company reserves the right to publish all recipes entered. No employees of the Crispin Cider Company or the Heavy Table are eligible to enter.

Thanksgiving Organic Roast Turkey with Crispin Honey Crisp Hard Cider and Honeycrisp Apples
Serves 10-12
Preparation time 30 minutes to 1 hour
Cooking time over 2 hours


5.5kg/12lb oven ready organic turkey (thoroughly defrost if frozen)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves
450mL/ 15.2 Fl. Oz Crispin Honey Crisp Hard Apple Cider
25g/1/2 Lb softened salted butter

25g/1/2 Lb organic flour
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

For the stuffing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and chopped
175g/6.2 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
75g/ 2.6 oz ready to eat dried prunes, chopped
2 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
1 large organic egg, beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F, 10 minutes before cooking.

2. Wipe the turkey inside and season the body cavity. Put to one side whilst preparing the stuffing

3. Stuffing
a. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic for   5 minutes or until softened.
b. Stir in the chopped Honeycrisp apples, remove from the heat and add remaining stuffing ingredients with seasoning to taste and mix well to form a stiff consistency.

4. Stuff the neck cavity only with the prepared stuffing then fold the neck flap over and secure either by sewing using fine twine and a trussing needle or with skewers.

5. Place the onion wedges and whole garlic cloves in the body cavity.

6. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time allowing 18 minutes per 450g/1Lb.

7. Roll any remaining stuffing into balls and cook round the turkey for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

8. Place breast side down in the roasting pan, pour over 200mL/6.8 Fl. Oz of Crispin Honey Crisp Hard Apple Cider

9. Place roasting pan in the oven and roast in the oven for the calculated cooking time. (By cooking the turkey upside down, the natural juices will baste the turkey as it cooks, leaving the cooked bird more tender & moist.

10. 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, turn the turkey over, pour over a further 200mL/6.8 Fl. Oz of Crispin Honey Crisp Hard Apple Cider and continue to cook for the rest of the cooking time. If the turkey is browning too quickly, cover loosely with tin foil.

11. Check the turkey is thoroughly cooked by inserting a long skewer in the thickest part of the thigh. If after 1 minute the juices run clear the turkey is cooked.

12. Remove from the oven, place turkey on a serving plate, loosely cover with tinfoil and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

13. Strain 300ml/10 Fl. Oz of the juices from the cooked turkey into a saucepan and stir in the remaining 50mL/2 Fl. Oz Crispin Honey Crisp Natural Hard Apple Cider, bring to boil.

14. Cream the butter with the flour then gradually whisk into the hard cider mixture.

15. Cook for 2 minutes, adjust seasoning and stir in the crème fraîche. Heat gently for 1 minute then serve with the cooked turkey, garnished with fresh mint sprigs and herbs.

Honey & Crispin Honey Crisp Cider Glazed Roast Leg of Lamb

Serves 6

1 Leg of Lamb (about 2kg/4.4 Lbs) — fat trimmed, skin scored
Olive oil, to drizzle
3-4 garlic cloves, skins on and halved.
A few sprigs of thyme
Juice from half a lemon
4 Honeycrisp apples
500mL/17 Fl.oz’s Crispin Honey Crisp Cider (with apple wine sediment fully & evenly dispersed through the cider – tip & swirl).
Runny Organic Honey, to drizzle.
300mL/10Fl.Oz’s lamb or chicken stock.

Preheat oven to 220C/430F

Weigh Lamb and calculate final cooking at 12 minutes per 450g/1Lb for Medium-Rare, and 15 minutes for Medium.

Score the fat in a criss-cross pattern, drizzle with olive oil, then rub all over with salt & pepper.

Place in a deep roasting pan and scatter the garlic and thyme over and around.

Pour over the lemon juice and drizzle again with olive oil.

Sprinkle with a little more seasoning.

Roast for 20 minutes.

Slice the Honeycrisp apples in to quarters and cut off the cores.

Remove the lamb from the oven and reduce the heat to 180C/360F.

Scatter the Honeycrisp apples around the pan and baste the lamb with Crispin Honey Crisp cider.

Turn the meat over and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of honey.

Return lamb to oven for 30 minutes.

Turn the lamb over and baste with pan juices, then drizzle over another tablespoon of honey.

Continue to roast for the calculated time.

Check juices – skewer thickest portion of lab – the redder the juices, the rarer the meat.

Remove lamb from oven.

Place on a carving board and cover with foil.

Prepare gravy.

Apples and garlic should be very soft in the roasting pan.

Press with a fork, then tip the entire contents of the pan through a fine sieve in to a saucepan.

Push down with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juices and flavor of the apples and garlic.

Discard the pulp.

Place the saucepan over a medium heat and add the stock.

Bring to boil and wait until sauce has thickened to a desired gravy consistency.

Taste & Adjust seasoning. Pour in to a warm gravy serving jug.

Carve the lamb in to thin slices.

Gravy to taste.

Crisp roast potatoes, tender green peas and broccoli to accompany the lamb.

Add friends and family to taste.

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