Try this simple slow cooker apple cider recipe for your holiday gatherings this season. It’s the perfect way to warm up your home during the cold winter months.
When the rainy season hits, there’s nothing better than warming up with a mug of homemade slow cooker apple cider. This recipe uses fresh ingredients and warm spices like allspice and cloves. Make sure to set some aside to make Baked Apple Cider Donut Holes!
Apples – for the best flavor, use a mix of tart apples and sweet apples. Some good apple choices are Granny Smith, Gala, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Red Delicious, Braeburn, Pink Lady, Golden Delicious and Jonagolds.
Orange –The addition of citrus helps to balance the flavor of the apples and pairs beautifully with the spices.
Water –You need one cup of water for each apple. So if you are using 10 apples, you need 10 cups of water. For a more intense apple flavor, use less water, or replace some of the water with 100% apple juice (be sure to adjust the sugar).
Spices – I use whole cloves, whole allspice and whole cinnamon sticks. This add the flavor of the spices without being overpowering, and you just remove them before serving.
Brown sugar –Since we’re making this apple cider from scratch, you’ll need a little sugar to sweeten it up. The warmth of the brown sugar is perfect here. You could also sweeten with honey or maple syrup.
How to Make Apple Cider in the Crock Pot
Wash and quarter the fruit and place it in the crockpot with the water and spices. Cook on high for 3 hours.
Mash the fruit with a potato masher, then stir in brown sugar. Replace the lid and cook for another hour.
Strain with a mesh strainer, keeping the liquids and discarding the solids.
How to Serve
Homemade apple cider is delicious warm or cold! To serve hot, return the liquid to the slow cooker and set to warm. To serve chilled, refrigerate overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I strain out the spices?
Use a mesh strainer like this one to separate the liquids from the solids. If you want it extra smooth, use a double fine mesh jelly strainer.
Can I add alcohol to apple cider?
You can absolutely turn this into an adult beverage! Bourbon, rum or whiskey are the top choices, and can be added to your cider.
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerator: Store cider in an airtight container for up to a week.
Freezer: Cool completely, then transfer to freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 6 months. Be sure to leave about an inch at the top for expansion.
The best flavor comes from mixing a variety of apple types. I always include Granny Smith of Gala for their tart flavor.
For a more intense apple flavor, you can adjust the amount of water to use less per apple.
Feel free to adjust the spices according to your personal taste. You can leave out spices you don’t care for, or add more of the ones you love.
To simplify removing the spices, tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth before adding to your crock pot.
For a pretty presentation at parties, float some orange slices in the crock pot with your cider.
Stovetop Apple Cider: Simmer the ingredients for 2 hours then mash, simmer some more, and strain the liquid and sweeten the cider.
Instant Pot Apple Cider: Add fruit and spices to the instant pot, then cover with water to the fill line. Cover and seal, then cook on manual for 25 minutes, followed by a quick release. Mash, cover and simmer some more, then strain and sweeten.
10applesmix of granny smith, gala, and other varieties (1 apple per cup water)
1large navel orange
½cuplight brown sugarmore or less to taste
Wash apples and cut into halves or quarters and set aside. Wash and cut orange Into thick slices.
Add the prepared apples, oranges and spices to the crockpot and fill with 10 cups of water.
Cover and cook on high heat for 3 hours.
Use a potato masher to press the cooked apples and oranges.
Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
Cover and cook for one additional hour. Taste test and adjust brown sugar according to preference.
Strain using a mesh strainer, keeping liquid and discarding solids.
Serve warm or chill overnight for cold cider.
Refrigerator: Store cider in an airtight container for up to a week.Freezer: Cool completely, then transfer to freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 6 months. Be sure to leave about an inch at the top for expansion.
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Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.