Apple Cider Recipe (Stovetop + Slow Cooker) (2024)

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Apple Cider is a fragrant and delicious spiced apple drink made from apples, oranges, spices, water, and optional sweetener. Learn how to make this super-easy Homemade Apple Cider Recipe in the slow cooker or on the stovetop and enjoy all winter long.

Apple Cider Recipe (Stovetop + Slow Cooker) (1)

There’s no denying my love for apples. From homemade applesauce to savory pork chops with apples, autumn is would not be complete without this familiar fruit taking over our dining tables at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and, dessert.

Today I’m sharing how to make my favorite warm and toasty homemade apple cider. Delicious warm, or cold, and always amazing with a splash of bourbon, it also makes your house smell like a freshly baked apple pie.

Making your own apple cider is probably a lot easier than you’re thinking, but it does take a little time. So if you’re in a hurry, it’s probably best to plan ahead before making this recipe.

Fortunately, you only need a handful of pretty simple ingredients (like apples!), some citrus, optional spices (like nutmeg, cinnamon, whole allspice), and water. Added sweetener is optional, so feel free to make your cider as sweet (or unsweet) as you’d like.

And, after you’ve made a big batch of this beautiful cider, don’t forget to use it to make slow cooker apple cider pulled pork!

What is Apple Cider?

As it turns out, the labeling (and therefore definition) of apple cider is somewhat complicated. Different states have different labeling protocols, which means that depending on where you live, your cider may be pasteurized or unpasteurized. In general, most apple cider (unlike apple juice) is unfiltered.

Travel outside of the United States, however, and apple cider means something entirely different. What Americans refer to as hard cider or hard apple cider, is simply apple cider in other countries. In these cases, it is a fermented alcoholic beverage,not a juice.

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Ingredients

This particular recipe makes approximately 16 cups of homemade apple cider. Fortunately, you can make as much (or as little) as you would like. You’ll need:

  • Apples – Fresh apples are an absolute must. I like to go to the market to pick out a variety of different apples of all different colors. Feel free to use just one type or a variety.
  • Oranges – Oranges add a nice citrus flavor characteristic to apple cider. Add an extra orange slice or two with each warm cup of cider for a little extra sweetness.
  • Spices – Spices add an extra depth of flavor and complexity setting it apart from simple apple juice. I like to add whole cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries. Feel free to leave out the spices if you prefer.
  • Sweetener – Adding sweetener is completely optional. I like to add a touch of sugar, but not so much that I can no longer taste the fresh apple flavor or warming spices. My favorite sweetener is brown sugar, but feel free to add maple syrup, agave, granulated sugar, or honey.
  • Water – The cider base.

Best Apples for Hot Apple Cider

In this particular apple cider recipe, I added a mix of different apple varieties.

  • Sweet – Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Cortland.
  • Acidic/Tart – Jonathan, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, McIntosh.
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How to Make Apple Cider

How to Make Stovetop Apple Cider

  1. Transfer all of the chopped apples, oranges, and spices to a large stockpot. Fill with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1-2 hours, or until apples are soft and mushy.
  3. Use a potato masher to mash the apples with the orange and spices. Return to a simmer over low heat and cook for an additional 1-2 hours.
  4. Remove from heat and allow some time to cool before straining. Strain the mashed up fruits through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  5. Taste. Add additional sweetener, if desired.

How to Make Crockpot Apple Cider

To make spiced apple cider in the slow cooker you will need a7-quart slow cooker,potato masher, and afine-mesh strainerorcheesecloth. Given that the volume of the slow cooker is smaller than a large stockpot,I recommend cutting the recipe amount in half.

  1. Transfer the apples, oranges, and spices to the bowl of a large crockpot. Cover with water, leaving approximately 1-inch of space at the top of the slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours (or until the apples are completely mushy).
  3. Mash everything together using a potato masher.
  4. Continue to cook for an additional 3-4 hours over low heat or 1-2 hours over high heat.
  5. Turn off the heat and carefully strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  6. Taste. Add additional sweetener, if desired.
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Possible Variations

Here are a few easy variations to this classic cider recipe,

  • Add alcohol: add apple cider to sangria or other mixed co*cktails. For something fast and easy, add a splash of champagne for an apple cider version of the mimosa.
  • Chai-tea: No whole spices like cinnamon or cloves? Chai tea makes a great alternative. Steep 1-2 tea bags (or more), to taste.
  • Add some cranberries: Apples and cranberries practically scream fall. Add some cranberries and adjust the sweetness to taste.
  • Add some vanilla: You don’t need a lot of vanilla. Just a teaspoon or so.

How to Store Leftover Apple Cider

This recipe makes a lot. Drink it, cook with it, or save it for later!

  • Refrigerator: Transfer cooled cider to glass jars with fitted lids. Transfer to the refrigerator and use within 5 days.
  • Freezer: Transfer cooled cider to glass jars with fitted lids. Fill approximately 3/4 of the way, leaving enough room for expansion when frozen. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months, thawing in the refrigerator. Warm, gently, on the stovetop, if desired.
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More Apple Recipes to Try,

  • Crunchy Beet and Kohlrabi Slaw with Apples
  • Turmeric Salad with Apples and Acorn Squash
  • Fried Apples Recipe (How to Make Fried Apples)
  • Autumn Rosé Sangria with Apples and Pomegranates
  • Pear and Apple Fall Sangria Recipe
  • Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
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Have you tried this Apple Cider Recipe?

Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me#theforkedspoononInstagramif you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.

RECIPE CARD

Apple Cider Recipe (Stovetop + Slow Cooker) (9)

Homemade Apple Cider

4.83 from 85 votes

AuthorAuthor: Apple Cider Recipe (Stovetop + Slow Cooker) (10)Jessica Randhawa

This delicious Homemade Apple Cider Recipe is the perfect fall beverage made with apples, oranges, fragrant spices, water, and optional sweetener. Slow Cooker and stovetop instructions included.

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Prep Time 20 minutes mins

Cook Time 3 hours hrs

Total Time 3 hours hrs 20 minutes mins

Course Drinks

Cuisine American

Servings 16 cups (approx.)

Calories 71 kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 apples -

    assorted varieties, quartered

  • 2 oranges - quartered
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 16 cups water
  • ¼ cup sweetener -

    (optional) – maple syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, etc.

Instructions

Stovetop Method

  • Prepare Ingredients. Prepare all ingredients and transfer to a large, oversized stockpot.

  • Simmer. Cover and allow the pot to come to a low boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat to low and maintain a simmer for approximately 1-2 hours, or until apples are completely soft and mushy. Stir occasionally.

  • Mash. Remove pot from heat and use a potato masher to mash the apples and oranges, together with the spices, releasing their flavors into the liquid as they break apart.

  • Simmer. Cover stockpot and return to a simmer over low heat. Continue to cook for an additional 1-2 hours.

  • Strain. Remove from heat and allow apple cider to cool slightly before straining then use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to separate the solids (mushed up apples and oranges) from the liquid. When a backup of solids starts to collect, use a large wooden spoon to press the solids against the side of the strainer, releasing the final bit of their juices. Discard the solids.

  • Sweeten, to taste. If desired, stir in additional sweetener.

  • Serve. Serve warm as is or garnished with an orange slice and cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

Slow-Cooker Method

  • Prepare and transfer ingredients to a6-quart slow cooker.Prepare all ingredients and transfer the apples, oranges, and spices to the bowl of a large slow cooker. Cover with water, leaving approximately 1-inch of space at the top of the slow cooker.

  • Simmer.Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours, or until apples are completely soft and mushy. Stir occasionally.

  • Mash. Use apotato masherto mash the apples and oranges, together with the spices, releasing their flavors into the liquid as they break apart.

  • Strain. Allow apple cider to cool slightly before straining then use afine-mesh strainerorcheeseclothto separate the solids (mushed up apples and oranges) from the liquid. When a backup of solids starts to collect, use a large wooden spoon to press the solids against the side of the strainer, releasing the finalbit of their juices. Discard the solids.

  • Sweeten, to taste. If desired, stir in additional sweetener.

  • Serve. Serve warm as is or garnished with an orange slice and cinnamon stick.

Jessica’s Notes

  • Given that the volume of the slow cooker is smaller than the stockpot, I recommend cutting the recipe amount in half.
  • Leftovers will store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months.

Originally published July 29, 2019

Nutritional Information

Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword apple cider

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Apple Cider Recipe (Stovetop + Slow Cooker) (2024)
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