Homemade Hot Apple Cider Straight From the Stove
You might be wondering why you’d bother to make your own Homemade Hot Apple Cider when it’s so easy to buy it by the half gallon or gallon. Well just like anything you prepare at home, fresh always tastes best & you know exactly what’s in it.
Making your own cider is quite simple. All that’s required is a stock pot, lots of apples, some oranges if you like, spices and a little water. The most challenging part is waiting several hours before indulging.
Depending on the variety of apples used when making homemade cider will determine how sweet it is and if any added sweetener is necessary to suit your taste.
Below are a list of apples, what they’re best suited for and how they taste. For instance: the Baldwin apple is recommended for eating raw and highly recommended for using in pies and baking. Whereas the McIntosh in not recommended for pies or baking.
(Apple Comparison Chart from The Yummy Life)
In the recipe below I used several varieties from tart to sweet and because of that I decided to add some sugar. However, if you were to use all Honey Crisp apples you may not feel the need to add any sugar at all, which I prefer.
It’s fun to play around with the different varieties to create your own special blend. If you do need to add sweetener you can add granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave (less is needed than most other sweeteners), coconut sugar, or even maple syrup. I’m sure I missed something. I think my favorite combination so far is all Honey Crisp since it’s naturally sweet. If you don’t like your apple cider too sweet then you may prefer the recipe below.
With any excess cider left over you can use it in a variety of recipes from granola to apple pie, or even as an added flavoring to fall soups. The possibilities are endless!
Head out to an apple farm this week and pick a basket of apples to bring home and make a batch of Homemade Hot Apple Cider. The aroma that fills your home will be heavenly and so soothing – you’ll know fall is here!
Homemade Hot Apple Cider will be ideal Halloween night, especially if it’s chilly outside. I hope you’ll try a batch!
Homemade Hot Apple Cider
- 12 medium apples, assorted types (I used mostly Gala, Granny Smith & Red Delicious)
- 2 oranges
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp. whole cloves
- 1 tsp. whole allspice (optional)
- 1 gallon (16 cups) water, more or less
- 1/2 - 1 cup brown sugar (or your desired sweetener*)
- Wash apples and the orange, and then roughly cut into quarters. (Don't worry about removing peels, seeds, or stems.) Place in a large stock pot. Add cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Cover with water, filling the pot until it is nearly full. (I left about 2 inches of space at the top of my pot.) Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
- Once the apples have softened after an hour or two, use a potato masher (or tongs or the side of a spoon) to mash the apple and orange slices once they are soft. Cook for one more hour.
- Strain out the apple cider into a clean pitcher or pot. To get the maximum juice out of the apples, you can press them through a fine-mesh strainer or strain through a cheese cloth. Stir in your desired amount of sweetener until it is dissolved.
- Serve hot.