Homemade Apple Cider
Your house will smell like Fall all day long. And yes, it’s amazing.
So as you know, I’ve been preparing for my book tour for a couple months now. I’m not kidding when I say that the aroma of Fall has been strongly wafting in my house since July. Not that I’m complaining. Bring on the pumpkin coffee creamer! When I began to create recipes for this fall season, I knew homemade apple cider had to be on the agenda. “I need to teach them how to make apple cider with pretty cinnamon sticks and I definitely need to buy cute new mugs for the pics.”
How my brain works.
I was going to wait until well into October to share this recipe, but that just seemed cruel. Apple cider, spiced with cinnamon and cloves, is the quintessential Fall drink and you’ve got to make it NOW.
Homemade apple cider is actually really, really simple. In fact, I was shocked when I found this super easy recipe on All Recipes. I love that the cider is made in a slow cooker! Set it and forget it. That’s the beauty of a slow cooker. Side note– I make these turkey meatballs in my slow cooker at least 3x a month. Great leftovers for lunch.
So let’s talk about what is actually in this apple cider. Well, not much at all! There’s apples, an orange, water, spices, and sugar. I strongly recommend you use a couple different types of apples for the best flavor. I love using a sweeter variety (like Jazz, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, etc) and a tart variety like Granny Smith. An orange balances out all the apple flavor, giving the homemade apple cider a unique citrus burst. The citrus pairs wonderfully with the spices too: ground cloves and cinnamon sticks.
Can you handle how amazing your house is going to smell?? I’ve made this homemade apple cider 4x in the past month not only because it tastes so damn good but because of THE SMELL. Autumn is totally taking over your home.
Stick it all into the slow cooker and fill with water.
After several hours, take a giant spoon and begin mashing up all those warm apples and oranges. They’ll be super soft at this point. And that’s when their flavor really starts to infuse into the cider. It’s incredible. Allow this liquid mash (how appetizing?!) to simmer for another hour or so, then strain the apple cider goodness through a fine mesh sieve.
That’s it! Homemade apple cider for all.
One thing that’s important, though. Ok so what I love most about this homemade apple cider is that you have total control over the amount of sugar and spice in each batch. For me? Apples are super sweet on their own, so I add very little sugar to my homemade apple cider. We all have different preferences, so make sure that you add enough sugar. I recommend 1/2 cup of granulated sugar if you like your cider on the sweeter side. To be honest, I only use a couple Tablespoons total.
I’d rather eat my sugar.
So, how easy does this sound? And, most importantly, aren’t the cinnamon sticks pretty and the mugs cute? Yay for all things Fall.
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Homemade Apple Cider
Your house will smell like Fall all day long. And yes, it's amazing.
- 1 orange
- 10 medium apples (use a variety-- I use Honeycrisp and Granny Smith)
- 3 cinnamon sticks (or 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon)
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- granulated sugar1 (see note)
- Slow cooker (4-quart or higher)2
- Fine mesh sieve
- Peel the orange and place the segments in the slow cooker. (Pictures show unpeeled- I prefer peelng it. Less bitter.) Wash the apples, cut into quarters, and place in the slow cooker. Add the cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, and sugar. Add enough water to cover the fruit.
- Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours. (Or high heat for 3.)
- After 6-7 hours, the fruit will be very soft. Use a large spoon to mash the fruit and release its liquids. Allow the cider to cook on low for 1 more hour.
- Very slowly strain the chunky liquid though a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher. You can discard the solids. Strain the cider one more time to rid any other solids. Serve the cider warm. Leftover cider keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days. Warm up on the stove before serving-- or drink it cold!
- Make ahead tip: Cider can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Adjust the sugar to your taste. I only use a couple Tablespoons of granulated sugar because I prefer spicy cider as opposed to sweet. If you prefer your apple cider on the sweeter side (like the kind you buy at the store), use 1/2 cup (100g) of granulated sugar.
- No slow cooker? No problem! In step 1, place all of the ingredients into a large stock pot instead of a slow cooker. Turn the stove up to high heat and bring everything to a simmer while stirring occasionally. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Mash the fruit as described in step 3. Then, allow the cider to cook for 1 more hour. Continue with step 4.
Adapted from All Recipes
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Make the best of your homemade apple cider and make Honeycrisp Apple Sangria. It’s like a big Fall hug in a wine glass. My favorite kind of hug. ♥