Mason jar filled with warm homemade apple cider garnished with sliced apples, oranges, and cinnamon stick.
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Apple Cider

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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 cups (approx.)
Calories: 71kcal
Author: Jessica Randhawa

Ingredients

  • 10 apples

    assorted varieties, quartered

  • 2 oranges quartered
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 16 cups water
  • 1/4 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 a 6-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 a potato masher to 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 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.

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.

Nutrition

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
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