Cozy up with a warm or cold glass the BEST homemade apple cider! This drink recipe is easy to make in the slow cooker or stove top for the holidays!
Right now I am writing this as I am making this homemade apple cider and MY HOUSE SMELLS AMAZING!!! It smells of warm pumpkin and apple pie spices marinating on the stove. I wish you were here to enjoy it right now with me! This really is the best homemade apple cider you’ll ever try. I make this every year to welcome in the holidays and cooler weather (even though it is not quite cooler here in California). By itself it is a yummy little treat the kiddos enjoy or add a bit of whiskey to turn it into a refreshing adult cocktail!
- Making apple cider at home is easy and can be done in the slow cooker or on the stove top.
- Makes the house smell amazing! – who doesn’t just love the flavors and aromas of sweet fall spices filling the air!
- This drink can be made with keto sugar, with your favorite sweetener, and to how sweet you prefer – The recipe calls for honey or maple syrup but can also be made with keto syrup in their place.
- An apple a day keeps the doctor away! – Apples and its components may reduce the risk of chronic disease including antioxidant, antiproliferative, and how cells signal and work together. They also have signs of reducing the risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease. And it even gets better! Eating them also supports aging, diabetes, weight management, bone health, pulmonary function, and gastrointestinal protection [source]. The addition of cinnamon and spices in apple cider help to reduce inflammation.
What goes into this recipe
All the flavors of fall go into this easy apple cider recipe! Apples, 16 cups of water, navel orange, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spices and a sweetener are simmered together to make this cider recipe. I used honey here but maple syrup or keto syrup is also delicious. You can also use stevia drops or it in powder form for no additional sugar.
How to make apple cider from scratch
Homemade apple cider is be made in the slow cooker or stove top, and both take a couple of hours but the result is worth it! Slice the apples in half and quarter the oranges before adding them to a pot or crock pot.
STEP 1: In a large stock pot, add the apples, oranges, water, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon sticks. Cover and bring the pot to a boil, and as soon as it starts to boil turn the heat down to a simmer (about low-medium heat). Let it heat for 2 hours or until the apples are nice and soft and lighter in color. The longer it simmers the better the flavor.
STEP 2: Pour in your sweetener (honey, maple syrup, or keto syrup). Using a potato masher, mash the apples and oranges to squeeze out their juices and taste.
STEP 3: Let the apple cider set until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Using a cheese cloth or nut bag squeeze out the juices to separate the solids from the liquid. Add anymore sweeter “to taste”.
Making this in the slow cooker is the same as stove top. In a large slow cooker, add the apples, oranges, water, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon sticks and cook on low for 2 hours. After 2 hours of cooking stir in the sweetener. Then mash up the fruit with a potato masher and when the cider is cool, use a nut bag to separate the liquid from solid.
How to serve and store homemade cider
Serve right away warm or chill first. Store the homemade apple cider in a pitcher or jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Add a little whisky if desired.
FAQs and expert tips
Fuji, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Gala, or Red Delicious varieties work well for a sweeter apple cider recipe. If you prefer a more tart ad acidic you can use Pink Lady, Braeburn, Jonathan, Granny Smith, or McIntosh.
Five to seven days is the recommended time to drink apple cider once it is made or opened.
If the sweet apple cider starts to darken and turn foggy it is undergoing fermentation and is turning into apple cider vinegar and will taste bad and a bit sour. It is not harmful, it is just fermenting into hard cider.
This is such a tasty fall drink recipe! I love how healthy and simple this homemade apple cider is to put together! Make it two ways: stove or slow cooker. Store it in a pretty jar for a great holiday gift or serve for Christmas and Thanksgiving brunch or dinner! You can even add whisky if you are feeling frisky! Or give chilled to the kiddos as apple juice.
Related apple recipes
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BEST Homemade Apple Cider Recipe From Scratch
- 10 apples medium sized, halved
- 1 navel orange quartered
- 16 cups water
- 4 sticks cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup sweetener honey, maple syrup, or keto syrup
- Cut apples in half and quarter the oranges.
Stove Top Apple Cider
- In a large stock pot, add the apples, oranges, water, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon sticks. Cover and bring the pot to a boil, and as soon as it starts to boil turn the heat down to a simmer (about low-medium heat). Let it heat for 2 hours or until the apples are nice and soft. the longer it simmers the better the flavor.
- Pour in your sweetener (honey, maple syrup, or keto syrup). Using a potato masher, mash the apples and oranges to squeeze out their juices and taste.
- Let the apple cider set until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Using a cheese cloth or nut bag squeeze out the juices to separate the solids from the liquid. Add anymore sweeter "to taste". Discard the solids.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider
- Place the prepared apples, orange, cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice, and water in a crock pot. Cook on high for 2 hours until the apples are soft.
- Using a mashed potato masher, smash the fruit to get all the juices out of it. Let it cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes or more. Remove the cinnamon sticks. With a cheese cloth or nut bag, squeeze the crushed apples and oranges over a large bowl to get the juice out. Discard the solids.
- Serve warm or refrigerate until cold. Add whiskey if desired and enjoy within 5-7 days.