Homemade apple cider is a delightful and comforting beverage, perfect for enjoying the flavors of fall. This recipe will guide you through the process of making fresh apple cider from scratch. You’ll need a few ingredients and some time, but the end result is well worth it.
- 12-15 medium-sized apples a mix of sweet and tart varieties like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp works well
- 1 orange sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6-8 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar adjust to taste
Prep the Apples: Wash the apples thoroughly and cut them into quarters, leaving the peels and cores intact. You can remove any bruised or spoiled parts.
Prepare the Spices: Tie the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and whole allspice in a piece of cheesecloth to make a spice bag. This will make it easier to remove the spices later.
Cook the Apples: Place the apple quarters, orange slices, and the spice bag in a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover the apples, usually about 2-3 inches above the fruit. Stir in the brown sugar.
Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1-1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and use a potato masher to mash the apples during cooking. This helps release more flavor.
Strain the Mixture: Once the apples are soft and the mixture is fragrant, remove it from the heat. Use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain the liquid into another large pot or container. Make sure to squeeze out as much juice as possible from the apple pulp.
Cool: Allow the apple cider to cool to room temperature. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
Store: Transfer the homemade apple cider to sterilized glass jars or bottles. Seal them tightly and store them in the refrigerator. Homemade apple cider can be stored for up to one week.
Serve: To enjoy your apple cider, gently heat it on the stovetop and serve it warm. Optionally, you can garnish each serving with a cinnamon stick or a slice of fresh orange.