Hot chocolate has always been my hot beverage of choice. But, I decided to mix it up and try something new… and it paid off. Hot apple cider. Delicious.
Now, you may be asking yourself if making cider from scratch is any better than just buying a jug of something from the store and heating it up. If you are asking yourself that question then you’re in good company because that is literally the first question we ask ourselves any time we decided to tackle a new recipe. In some cases it is and occasionally it isn’t. Homemade marshmallows, be real people. In this case, it was a win. If you had access to your own, fresh picked apples then it would probably be even better. Using apples to make the cider instead of apple juice gets you more of the richness and apple flavor. If those you are serving this creation to can’t tell the difference then throw them out of your house immediately and vow never to serve them any of your kitchen creations ever again. (But in all seriousness, the end product here was much better then some store-bought juice).
The only downfall of this recipe is that it is a plan ahead item and not a last minute thing. The apples and spices and everything go into the crock pot for a good while and then there is some processing and assembly to do afterward.
The other thing to be aware of is that if you need a lot of cider from this recipe make sure to have enough crock pot space or more likely a few crock pots. The apples take up a good bit of space and then cook down some and then get mashed and reduced to cider yielding less than you probably initially thought you were going to get by the amount of stuff you put in.
So if you’re serious about cider – and really, who isn’t (This is Nathan and I’m not serious about cider. I never understood the stuff quite honestly) – then this is definitely a recipe for your next cold weather party.
- 1 orange
- 10 medium apples
- 3 cinnamon sticks (or 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon)
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1 TBSP granulated sugar, add more for a sweeter cider
- Peel the orange and place the segments in the slow cooker.
- 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.