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Homemade Apple Cider 3 Ways Stovetop Crockpot Instant Pot

Homemade apple cider is perfectly spiced to your liking and tastes incredible. With a short prep and delicious result, you’ll never want to buy store bought again and you can make it on the stove, in your Crock Pot or in your Instant Pot. The perfect cozy drink for crisp fall days and the holidays!

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You can make homemade apple cider on your stove top, in your crock pot, or in the Instant Pot.

Homemade Apple Cider

Hey! It’s (almost) fall! That means its one hundred percent cozy drink season.

And here in the northeast we’re supposed to have a cooler than normal weekend- more like the end of October. And I am so here for it!

It’s the perfect weekend to head apple picking and then make a big batch of homemade apple cider.

Friends, if you haven’t made your own apple cider, you are missing out! Not only does it taste so much better than store bought but it makes your house smell absolutely fantastic as it cooks with the aroma of fresh apples, cinnamon, orange and cloves wafting through the air. It is heaven. Like a holiday scented candle… but real life.

Plus, this diy apple cider is super fun to make with kids. My 5 year old loved helping to make it and was so proud of herself when we got to cuddle up together under a big blanket and sip on cups of hot grog in the great hall. Or you know… drink some warm cider in my living room the other day. Potato, po-tah-to.

Homemade Apple Cider is the perfect warm drink for fall and winter

Homemade apple cider

So, plan on making homemade cider this weekend. You can spend a whole day making it or be on your way to enjoying a mug of hot homemade apple cider in under an hour depending on which method you use- stovetop, crock pot or Instant Pot.

Ingredients

Ingredients for Homemade Apple Cider: Apples, Orange, Cinnamon, Cloves, Brown Sugar, Nutmeg, and Water

Ingredients for Homemade Apple Cider: Apples, Orange, Cinnamon, Cloves, Brown Sugar, Nutmeg, and Water

  • Apples- Obviously. I used a mix of Granny Smith and Red Delicious, but you can use any kind of apples you pick. Honeycrisps would be amazing in this.
  • Oranges– These are optional and will add a little hint of bitterness to the cider. If you want to omit them you can.
  • Water
  • Warming spices- Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. You can add them all individually or you can buy a prepackaged mulling spices.
  • Sweetener– Use any kind of sweetener you like. We used brown sugar, but I want to make a lower cal version of this and use Splenda or Stevia for my next batch. Either will work. You could also use granulated sugar.

How to Make Homemade Apple Cider on the Stove Top

It is ridiculously easy to make cider and the methods are all very similar.

  1. Prep the fruit.
    Quarter the apples.

    Quarter the apples.

    Start by slicing the apples into quarters. You don’t have to worry about removing the seeds or stems. Then cut the oranges into quarters or eights. Put them into a large stock pot. Fill the stock pot with water and add the spices.

  2. Cook the fruit.
    Add the fruit to a large stock pot and cover it with water.

    Add the fruit to a large stock pot and cover it with water.

    Bring the fruit and water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the fruit simmer covered for 2 hours or until the apples are extremely tender.

  3. Mash the fruit.
    When the fruit is soft, mash it against the side of the pot with a big sturdy spoon or a potato masher. Keep mashing until the fruit is sort of pulpy but well incorporated into the liquid. Don’t worry if there are still bigger pieces of fruit. You’ll strain them out.
  4. Strain and enjoy!
    Carefully pour the cider over another large bowl fitted with either cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer. Let the liquid drain into the bowl or pot underneath the strainer. You may have to do this in batches. Let it drain for about 10 minutes per batch. You can speed things up by pressing the fruit into the strainer or cheesecloth with a spoon. Once all the liquid has been strained out, discard the solids and return the liquid to the pot. Taste and sweeten to your liking. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!

How to Make Slow Cooker Cider

You can make homemade apple cider in the crock pot.

Homemade Apple Cider

Making apple cider in the crock pot is very similar to making it on the stovetop. The only thing that really changes is the cook time. When I made it my slow cooker, I used a 7 quart slow cooker for this recipe. You could adjust the recipe down if needed to make it in a smaller slow cooker.

When you cook this in the slow cooker, cook it on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8 hours then mash and strain as directed above, stirring in the sweetener at the end.

Instant Pot Apple Cider

A blend of apples, citrus and spices makes this homemade cider delicious.

Homemade apple cider

Making cider in the Instant Pot is the fastest way to enjoy homemade apple cider! You can make it from start to finish, including straining in just about an hour. A couple of very important things need to happen for the best Instant Pot apple cider:

  • When you fill your Instant Pot with the sliced fruit, spices and water, make sure you do not overfill the Instant Pot. That means you can’t fill it past the max fill line in the inner liner of the Pot.
  • Because you don’t want to overfill the Pot, that means you may have to use a cup or so less water– depending on the size of your apples and that’s fine! It won’t change the taste since you won’t get a lot of cooking down the way you would from the stove top or slow cooker.

To make homemade Instant Pot apple cider:

  1. Prep the fruit.

    Cut the apples into quarters. Don’t worry about the seeds or stem.

    Slicing the apples into quarters as described above and  cut the oranges into quarters or eights. Put them into the inner liner of the Pot and cover with water as described above. YOU MIGHT NEED UP TO 2 CUPS LESS WATER. THAT IS PERFECTLY FINE. MAKE SURE YOU DON’T OVERFILL AND MAKE SURE THE FRUIT IS SUBMERGED.

  2. Cook the fruit.
    Secure the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the valve is set to sealing. Pressure cook on manual high pressure for 25 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes and then quick release the remaining pressure. Once the pressure releases open the lid.
  3. Mash the fruit.
    Mash the apples with a sturdy spoon or a potato masher.

    It won’t look pretty but this is what it looks like when you mash the cooked apples in the Instant Pot.

    When the fruit is soft, mash it against the side of the pot with a big sturdy spoon or a potato masher. Keep mashing until the fruit is sort of pulpy but well incorporated into the liquid. Don’t worry if there are still bigger pieces of fruit. You’ll strain them out.

  4. Strain and enjoy!
    Homemade Instant Pot Apple Cider

    Homemade Apple Cider

    Carefully pour the cider over another large bowl fitted with either cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer. Let the liquid drain into the bowl or pot underneath the strainer. You may have to do this in batches. Let it drain for about 10 minutes per batch. You can speed things up by pressing the fruit into the strainer or cheesecloth with a spoon. Once all the liquid has been strained out, discard the solids and return the liquid to the pot and set the pot to warm. Stir in your sweetener. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!

FAQS

Why is my homemade cider bitter?

There are a few reasons your cider may be bitter:

  • You didn’t use enough sweetener. To fix this, taste a spoonful of cider, and if it isn’t sweet enough, simply stir in more of your prefered sweetener.
  • Apple choice. Did you use all sour apples like Granny Smiths? Your cider will be tart and you will need more sweetener to balance it out. To avoid this, use a mix of sweet and tart apples or use all sweet apples.
  • Too much acid. If your liquid is too acidic, it will taste bitter. So if you want a very sweet cider, omit the orange. Why? Because the orange adds acidity to the apples and balances the sweetness.

Does homemade cider have alcohol in it?

Nope! This recipe does not have alcohol in it. Hard cider does.

What’s the difference between apple cider and apple juice?

Apple cider is made from whole apples that you’ve cooked and mashed out of. On the other hand, apple juice is filtered and pasteurized. Generally, apple juice will be lighter, clearer and sweeter than apple cider.

Tips and Tricks

Homemade Apple Cider is the perfect warm drink for fall and winter

Homemade apple cider

  • Feel free to use any combination of apples you like. My family is fan of tart Granny Smiths but most people prefer sweeter apples for cider like Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious or Gala. For tarter cider, Granny Smith, Braeburn or even Pink Lady (which will make your cider a little pinker).
  • Taste the cider before adding your sweetener. I’m not giving you an exact amount of sweetener because it will vary by preference and what kind of apples you use.
  • You can adjust the amount of spices or even add others into the mix. Ginger and all spice would also be really nice in this or you could even up the amount of nutmeg if you like. Again do it to your preference.
  • The amount of water you need may vary a bit based on your method and the size of the apples you use. Make sure you use enough water to totally cover the fruit. I used 10 cups for the stove and crock pot, but less for the Instant Pot.
  • If you like a sweeter cider, peel the orange before you add it to the stock pot. Leaving the peel on results in a little bit more of a bitter, tart taste that balances out all of the sweetness from the apples.
  • Spike it with some bourbon or rum. Yes please!

Recipes that Use It

Homemade Apple Cider is the perfect warm drink for fall and winter

Homemade Apple Cider

Obviously you can enjoy this homemade cider on your own, but I love cooking and baking with apple cider too. If you find yourself with a huge batch of cider that you can’t drink fast enough,try one of these recipes that use cider:

Other Cozy Fall Drinks

Homemade Apple Cider is the perfect warm drink for fall and winter

Homemade apple cider

This homemade apple cider is the absolute coziest thing you can make this fall and winter. But if that’s not your cup of, well, cider then try one of these other fall and winter drink recipes:

Did you make this apple cider recipe or another recipe? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Facebook or Instagram @SeasonedSprinkles and show me your creations.

Homemade Apple Cider is the perfect warm drink for fall and winter

Homemade Apple Cider 3 Ways Stovetop Crockpot Instant Pot

Yield: 10ish cups of cider
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes

Homemade apple cider is perfectly spiced to your liking and tastes incredible. With a short prep and delicious result, you'll never want to buy store bought again! The perfect cozy drink for crisp fall days and the holidays!

Ingredients

  • Apples- 8-10 large apples, any variety, cut into quarters
  • 1 Orange- cut into quarters or eights
  • 8-10 cups of Water*
  • 2-3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tbs cloves
  • 1/2 tbs nutmeg
  • Sweetener- Use any kind of sweetener you like. We used brown sugar, but I want to make a lower cal version of this and use Splenda or Stevia for my next batch. Either will work. You could also use granulated sugar. This will be to taste.

Instructions

  1. Prep the fruit.
    Start by slicing the apples into quarters. You don't have to worry about removing the seeds or stems. Then cut the oranges into quarters or eights. Put them into the stock pot. Fill the stock pot with water and add the spices.
  2. Cook the fruit.
    Bring the fruit and water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the fruit simmer covered for 2 hours or until the apples are extremely tender.
  3. Mash the fruit.
    When the fruit is soft, mash it against the side of the pot with a big sturdy spoon or a potato masher. Keep mashing until the fruit is sort of pulpy but well incorporated into the liquid. Don't worry if there are still bigger pieces of fruit. You'll strain them out.
  4. Strain and enjoy!
    Carefully pour the cider over another large bowl fitted with either cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer. Let the liquid drain into the bowl or pot underneath the strainer. You may have to do this in batches. Let it drain for about 10 minutes per batch. You can speed things up by pressing the fruit into the strainer or cheesecloth with a spoon. Once all the liquid has been strained out, discard the solids and return the liquid to the pot. Taste and sweeten to your liking. Serve warm or cold and enjoy!

Notes

See the post above for Instant Pot and Crock Pot recipes.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

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