Homemade Apple Cider-because it’s fall.

October 28th, 2008 by katie

Going apple picking this fall? Unfortunately, living on the gulf coast means I can’t bring bushels of apples home from the farm, so pick a few for me. We aren’t huge applesauce or apple butter fans, so if I could bring home dozens of cheap apples, this is what I would make. Homemade apple cider is a fun project and a great way to use up all of those little, imperfect apples you get from pick-yourself farms or in huge bags at the grocery store during this time of year. It is incredibly easy with almost no prep work: just simmer your apples with your favorite cider spices, then strain and serve hot and steaming. You can make this cider as sweet, tart or spicy as you’d like which is why I like it. I will admit my favorite cider comes from cider beetles, but this is a close second and a fun project nonetheless. The kids wash the apples, I give them a rough chop then they throw everything in a pot and fill it with water. They love it and we sit around the table before bedtime, sipping from warm mugs, and talking about all of the fun we are going to have in the coming weeks.

Old Fashioned Apple Cider

prep 5 min, cook time 3 hours
  • 12 or so small-medium apples, assorted types
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/2-1 cup brown sugar
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves
  • water to cover
  1. Wash and roughly chop apples and orange-do not worry about removing peels, seeds, or stems. Toss into a large stock pot.
  2. Add sugar (I start with 1/2 cup, you can always add more later).
  3. Add spices, and cover with water.
  4. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for at least an hour.
  5. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow juice to simmer for at least two hours.
  6. Uncover and use a potato masher to roughly mash content of pot. To further reduce: continue simmering until cider is dark and tastes sweet and spicy.
  7. When cider is ready allow to cool then strain apple pieces and whole spices into a clean pitcher or pot. If you feel like it you can strain everything through a cheesecloth and twist and squeeze to get every last drop.
  8. Serve hot. Store in the fridge and reheat as desired. I usually get about a 1/2 gallon.
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Posted in Budget, Cooking with Kids, Drinks, Easy, Things I Love

13 Responses

  1. My First Kitchen

    Holy cow, that photo is beautiful. Sigh. Cider. Lovely.

  2. Terry B

    Katie—I’m not generally a fan of apples, but I can tell I’m going to be a fan of your blog. I just found it through Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen. Beautiful photos, an interesting point of view and an excellent reason for starting a blog. I’ll be back!

  3. noble pig

    Homemade is always the best. I love the rustic pot of fruit, so beautiful.

  4. Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food)

    Love that photo – so beautiful!

    Thanks for the awesome recipe! Will definitely have to try it out soon!

  5. Memoria

    Um, yes. I’m going to make this ASAP! This sounds so easy!

  6. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time

    Thanks for posting this. I know it was a couple of years ago, but I needed cider and didn’t want to run to the store, so I made yours and have given you the credit in my blog about it. Cheers.

  7. Sarah Spencer

    I made this using Jonathan apples that I peeled and cored and used both a lemon and an orange. I dug out all the cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks when I was done and kept the apples. It made an awesome apple cider applesauce! I will do this again. It is really yummy. Next time, tho, I will tie my spices in cheesecloth so I don’t have to dig the spices out at the end!

  8. Celina

    How long will the cider last if stored in the fridge?

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cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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