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Homemade apple cider screams fall! The combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and apple cooking all day in a slow cooker will make your whole house smell amazing. I can't think of anything more autumn than going to a pumpkin patch or corn maze and coming home to warm, homemade apple cider.
Besides being simple and making your house smell wonderful, this recipe is frugal too. Smith's has apples and oranges on sale this week (9/28/16-10/4/16) for just .88 lb. Most people have the spices and brown sugar in their cupboard, so for just a couple of dollars you can make a big batch instead of paying $5.00-$10.00 for a jug of quality apple cider at the store.
First, fill slow cooker with 8 cups of water. Next, peel and chop 5 apples. In a medium bowl, combine apples, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and brown sugar. Pour apple mixture into slow cooker. Add a whole orange and 3 cinnamon sticks to slow cooker. Cover and cook 4 hours on high. Uncover and remove cinnamon sticks and orange. Next, mash apples with potato masher.
After mashing the apples, let it cook 1 more hour. Then, pour contents of the slow cooker through a fine mesh strainer. I like to use the back of a spoon to mash the cooked apples to release as much of the delicious apple juices as possible. You can serve it immediately or keep it in the slow cooker on warm until you are ready to enjoy. It will produce approximately 7 cups of the most delicious apple cider.
If you really want a treat, top your apple cider with whipped cream. It is like drinking apple pie a la mode! Enjoy!
- 5 medium apples, peeled and chopped (any variety)
- 1 whole orange
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 pinches ground cloves (or a scant 1/8 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 8 cups water
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- Whipped cream - optional
- Pour 8 cups water into slow cooker.
- Peel and chop 5 apples (any variety).
- In a medium bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
- Pour apple mixture into the slow cooker.
- Add one whole orange and 3 cinnamon sticks to slow cooker.
- Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or until apples are soft.
- With a potato masher, smash the apples while still in the slow cooker.
- Cover again and cook 1 more hour on low.
- Pour the cider through a fine mesh strainer into a heat safe bowl or pitcher.
- Use the back of a spoon to mash the apples against the strainer to release all of the juices from the apples.
- Serve immediately or pour strained apple cider back into slow cooker on warm until you are ready to serve.
- Optional: Top with whipped cream