Are you in the midst of a frenzy Christmas gatherings like I am? This year, as we are a little more settled for this holiday season rather than last season right after our move last fall, I’ve loved having people over to the house to share cookies and this tasty beverage… Homemade Apple Cider! No only is it homemade from apples you choose and spiced and sweetened just how you like it, but you get to make it in the crockpot… Seriously it couldn’t be any easier, and WAY cheaper than those jugs at the grocery store.
When I had a dinner party to throw the other week, I found a great recipe from Gimme Some Oven for a slow-cooker version of apple cider that looked amazing, and boy was it! Now, as everyone has different slow-cookers and tastes, my recipe was a little changed from hers, but not a whole lot, as the principle is pretty straight forward… cook sliced apples and oranges with mulling spices and water for a long time until everything is a lovely fragrant mush, strain, sweeten & enjoy.
I have decided that second only to freshly cut North Carolina Fraser Fir christmas tree, the smell of homemade mulled apple cider is the best holiday smell you can find! No need to light candles for your party if this stuff is bubbling on the stove.
6 large apples (I used a variety, 2 red, 2 green, 2 yellow)
3 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
10 cups water (or enough to fill your crockpot to an inch below the edge)
1/4 cup honey
1/3-2/3 cup brown sugar (or maple syrup if you prefer)
Wash all the fruit, and then slice into quarters. You don't need to remove stems, peels or seeds... The more the merrier in this recipe!
Place all the fruit and spices in the slow cooker and cover with water. Be sure you don't over-fill your slow cooker, it should never be too close to completely full, as your unit will not be able to heat correctly if you do. I stopped adding water when I was about an inch away from the top.
Cook on low for about 6 hours or so. With a potato masher or the back of a large fork (but I prefer my plastic potato masher so I don't scrape the inside of my slow cooker) mash the fruit so that it the large pieces are broken down into mush.
Cover and cook for another 2 hours.
In batches, strain the cider mush, using a wooden spoon to push out as much liquid from the mixture as possible. discard the fruit pulp and spices, and put the cider into a stovetop pot so that you can keep it warm for your guests, or save it for later.
If you save it for later, let the cider cool down and then store them in large airtight container (I used large glass canning jars) for a day or two... Then reheat on the stove top before moving on to the final step.
When you are ready to serve, make sure the cider is piping hot and stir in your sweeteners... I liked a mix of honey and brown sugar the best, but maple syrup is a great option too. If you're serving a crowd like I was, I'd suggest under-sweetening and leaving the sweetener options accessible for everyone to bring their cup up to a sweetness-level of their choice.
Please note that some of the links in my posts and sponsor ads are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I have used all of the companies or products listed and recommend them because they are helpful and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products. You can visit My Cup is Full's Site Disclosures and Polices Page for more info about this site.