Homemade apple cider is a fantastic drink recipe that is made from fresh apples, oranges, and fall spices. You can serve it hot or cold!
Hot apple cider is everyone's fall favorite. I mean, what's not to love about the wonderful aroma of apples with citrus, not to mention cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. Caramel Apple Crisp is another favorite of ours during the fall season!
This recipe is best when a neighbor or friend gives you a big box of apples from their apple trees. When that happens, I will almost always make this cider or homemade applesauce or a delicious apple pie.
How to make this apple cider recipe with fresh apples:
- The first step is to cut the apples and oranges. Be sure to wash the outside of the fruit really well with warm soapy water. You'll want to remove the core and the stem from the apples too.
- Next you'll add the fruit along with the spices to your pot.
- Add water. It is not necessary to cover all of your ingredients because you'll be covering the pot with the lid to steam any fruit that is not submerged.
- Cook your apple cider mixture until the fruit falls apart and your kitchen smells heavenly.
- I like to use a potato masher to crush all of the cooked fruit once it's done cooking.
- The final step is to strain out the liquid from the solids. I like my cider to be sweetened a bit so at this point I stir in some pure maple syrup.
Apple cider recipe using the Instant Pot:
I made this particular recipe in the Instant Pot, but it can easily be adapted for a slow cooker or the stove.
When making homemade apple cider in the Instant Pot, just be aware that it will take some time for the contents to come to pressure. I cooked my apple cider ingredients on high pressure for 20 minutes.
Once done, you'll need to release the pressure unless you choose to allow it to naturally release. Have a towel handy in case you need to cover the pressure release valve if it starts to spit out a bunch of hot liquid.
Apple cider recipe using the slow cooker:
You'll follow the same instructions as listed in the recipe below, except you will cook the cider on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. You will still mash and strain the cider as per the recipe.
The slow cooker is a great option if you want your home smelling like homemade cider all day long. Plus, once you've strained the cider, you can add it back to the slow cooker to keep it warm.
Apple cider recipe using the stove:
Same procedure applies, but you can use a large stockpot covered with a lid and cook your ingredients on the lowest temperature needed to maintain a simmer. You'll need to cook your apple cider until the apples fall apart which might take up to an hour.
This method is great if you plan on being in the kitchen and are able to check on your cider regularly.
Want to make this recipe with apple juice?
Like I said above, this recipe is best if you have a ton of apples that need to be used up. If you need to buy apples at a premium price, I would not recommend using fresh apples to make homemade apple cider.
If you'd like to enjoy hot apple cider by using juice, I recommend finding a good quality unfiltered juice. You would follow the same instructions in the recipe, however you would replace both the fresh apples and the water with the bottled juice.
- 8 cups apples core removed, roughly chopped
- 2 oranges quartered
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole star anise
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole all spice berries
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup maple syrup
- Add all ingredients except maple syrup to Instant Pot. Close and secure lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
- Release pressure when done and mash fruit.
- Strain through fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth. Discard solids.
- Stir maple syrup into hot cider.
- Serve hot or cold. Can be topped with whipped cream or spiked with your favorite booze.
- This recipe was made in the Instant Pot, but can also be made on the cook top or in a slow cooker. See instructions above for variations.
- A mixture of sweet and tart apples works best for this recipe.