Homemade apple cider is so easy to make, I’m shocked I haven’t tried it before! But I suppose the only time I’d think about making apple cider is when I have so many apples I don’t know what to do with them—which is what happened this year.Our friends have a mini orchard and I was lucky enough to be given the go-ahead to pick all the apples I wanted! It was literally a windfall … perfect little apples falling off trees by the buckets. I scooped up as many as I could and quickly set about making pies, crisps, and sauce that will last until March. I used the smallest ones to make jelly (which is delicious btw) and I still had apples galore. What was I going to do with them all?
Well, one day I was out and about shopping and found myself at Williams-Sonoma (ha, I actually make a bee-line for that store) but, nevertheless… there I was. And the smell that was wafting about was incredible.
Turns out they were serving apple cider using their specialty spices and apple juice concentrate. I helped myself to a little sample, purchased the spices, but passed on the juice concentrate because I felt it was a bit expensive.
As I made a mental note to pick up some apple juice at the grocery store I had an “aha” moment … why don’t I make my own?!
So that’s how my homemade apple cider recipe was born.I made it for my family at Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit!Perfect for Christmas too!
Homemade Apple Cider
- Enough small apples to fill a large pot
- Enough water to cover the apples
- Brown sugar to taste (I used about 1/4 cup for the entire pot)
- Mulling Spices (I used the Williams-Sonoma mix) but you could use:
- dried orange rind
- whole allspice
- whole cloves
- Wash apples; cut in half and remove stems and blossom ends
- Place in large pot and cover with water
- Bring to boil and let cook for 5 minutes
- Cover and reduce heat
- Simmer for 30 minutes
- Crush using a potato masher
- Let simmer 15 minutes more, adding water to keep the pot full
- Strain through a large colander and toss the pulp, seeds, skins, etc.
- Strain again through a fine sieve
- Line a clean colander with several layers of cheesecloth and strain again (or not, if you don't mind a bit of cloudiness which isn't a bad idea)
- Place strained juice in a big clean pot on the stove and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat and add 2-4 Tablespoons spices and brown sugar to taste
- Let simmer for 15 minutes, adding a bit of water if the juice tastes too strong
- Remove spices *see my note
- Serve in small mugs with a stick of cinnamon for garnish
I left the spices in the pot and let it all simmer on the stove as long as there was cider left ... the aroma in the house all day was incredible!
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