Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Those of you who have been faithful followers of my blog (and how I love each and every one of you!!) can probably already guess that my favorite season is autumn. I love everything about it from pumpkins, bonfires, and the beautiful changing of leaves to the slightly cooler temps, crisp air, and all the festivities that take place during this wonderous time of the year. And we certainly can’t forget that this fall I have something special to look forward to and that’s the arrival of my third little lady or that it will be mine and my husband’s fourth year of marriage and my (soon-to-be) middle daughter’s third birthday. So many good things happen in my favorite season. Who couldn’t love it?

It’s not quite autumn, yet, but as soon as we enter the month of August, my fall-senses kick in and I automatically welcome the idea of bringing back comfort foods that make your insides all warm and fuzzy. Since the month began, I’ve already made big, steaming pots of white chicken chili, Chicken Noodle soup, beef stew, and (my husband’s personal fave) Broccoli Cheese Soup (I know, I know. Recipes will follow when I get my measurements¬†down ūüėČ ) . I don’t even care that we’ve been in a heat wave for the past week. Pssh. 95 degrees? Who cares? You can always make time for some good ol’fashioned comfort food.

Want to know one thing that can’t be beaten in the cooler months to come? The sweet, spicy aroma of Fresh Homemade Apple Cider permeating throughout your home. There’s nothing better than being able to leave your house for a few hours with the cider simmering in the crock pot and returning to a house that smells like it skipped summer and went straight to fall. In less than half a day you can enjoy a fresh, warm glass of homemade cider that beats store bought, any day. What I love best about making my own is it calls for very minimal effort, it’s pretty much a Fix it & Forget it drink, and if made right, it doubles as a homemade apple sauce.

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Here’s how I make it. Enjoy!

Homemade Apple Cider

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5-6 Red delicious Apples (or your favorite sweet, red apple)
  • 5-6 ¬†Granny Smith apples
  • 1-2 Oranges (I used two because the oranges I had were somewhat small)
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 4¬†sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 1 tsp. Cardamom
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg (optional)
  • 10-12 cups of water (enough to cover an inch above apples when pushed down with spoon)


DIRECTIONS:

  1. (See notes below on how to double recipe as apple sauce before beginning) Leaving skins and stems on, quarter apples and oranges; put in the slow cooker.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker as well. Give apples a quick stir. Turn cooker on low and let simmer for about 3-4 hours.
  3. After cooking time has passed, mash apples as much as possible using a potato masher. Cook for another 1-3 hours until the desired flavor is reached.
  4. Strain apples and liquid in a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth to remove any fine apple pieces.
  5.  Serve immediately if you like your cider warm or allow to chill for a few hours if you like it cool.
  6. Pour cider into an airtight container and store in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for later use.
  7. Enjoy this sweet, flavor punch to mouth! ūüėČ

Notes

  • If you want to double this recipe as cider and applesauce, be sure to remove stems, cores, and seeds as well as peeling the apples. I would also suggest putting your whole spices and cinnamon sticks in a cheesecloth in the form of a sachet so that when you mash the apples, these can be easily removed without having to dig through. Before mashing apples, remove orange slices then mash away. Strain cider and put mashed apples in another container. At this point the cider and applesauce are ready, however, if you want to add the spice sachet back to the cider to simmer for more flavor, you can. Just be sure to remove it before serving.

You can guarantee I’ll be making this all season long and plan to serve it at my baby shower and my daughter’s Fall Festival themed birthday where I am sure it will be a hit. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did making it. Please don’t be intimidated to try this super simple recipe. It’s one I’m sure you will be glad you tried.

What’s your favorite thing about Autumn? Let me know in the comments.

Don‚Äôt forget to give my blog a quick follow for new recipes and¬†updates in my crazy life. ¬†‚̧

 

 

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Cider Hot Chocolate– Autumn in a glass

Cider Hot Chocolate How’s my wonderful foodies out there? Staying warm, I hope! The weather here in Eastern Kentucky just can’t make up its mind. I guess that’s what they call an “Indian Summer”, teetering from hot to cold in a matter of a few days.

I found the perfect way to warm my body when temps hit below my comfort zone (I like to stay somewhere between the 70’s and 80’s. Anything lower and it’s time for a sweater and thick blanket). If you couldn’t tell, my favorite magazine will always be the Food Network Mag. I never miss an issue! In the October issue, I stumbled on a recipe for Cider Hot Chocolate.

Ha, yea that doesn’t sound like a good mix at all. You could say I was a little skeptical. “Was”. Keyword. When I tried it, it was like Autumn exploded in my mouth. A perfect blend of fall spices. You have to give this one a try. I promise, if you like apple cider, you will love this!

Cider Hot Chocolate

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 C Apple Cider
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 C. Heavy Cream
  • 2 oz. Chopped white chocolate

Cider Hot Chocolate


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Simmer Apple Cider with the first 5 ingredients for about 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in heavy cream.
  3. Add in white chocolate and whisk until melted.
  4. Pour into mugs, sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon, and enjoy the sweet comforts of fall!

Note:

  • I am pretty sure that when I made this I was lacking the ground cloves. If you don’t have it on hand, it was still delicious without it.¬†

I really hope you enjoy this recipe for Cider Hot Chocolate as much as I did. It was so perfect for those cool nights we’ve been getting here in Kentucky. Impress your guests at your next bonfire with a hot cup of this creamy goodness!

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Spiked Pumpkin Spiced Pineapple Cider

How’s all my foodies during this cold weekend?

(Ok, so maybe it’s no longer the weekend. Ok. Ok. Try the middle of the week). Nonetheless, It’s finally beginning to feel like sweater weather here in Kentucky. I have no doubt, being only the middle of September, that the heat¬†will take a spike before we officially take a step into Autumn.¬†

I’m sure a lot of you share the same anticipation for the upcoming season as I do. I’m so freakin’ pumped, I just can’t contain myself (as if you couldn’t tell from my other posts). Sweaters. Boots. (An excuse for my yoga pants) Let’s not forget bon fires and pumpkin everything. So, to gear up for our favorite time of the year, I’ve got a little treat for you and yes… it does contain pumpkin!!

Spiked Pumpkin Spiced Pineapple Cider!

Spiked Pumpkin Spiced Pineapple ciderDon’t knock it til’ ya try it. It’s like apple cider with a twist! I can’t remember where I found the original recipe. To be honest, I was a little skeptical myself but I gave ‘er a try anyway. I ran to my kitchen and gathered up everything I had to match the list, adding and substituting a few things. Threw it in the blender and… VOILA!¬†¬†Pumpkin spiced perfection!

With this recipe, you can either serve it hot or cold. I tried both ways and it was equally delish! I guess the way you drink it all depends on how you’re feeling at that given moment. Maybe, like me, you just need to wind down and warm up after a crazy¬†evening with the kids. Buddy, it sure does help to take my mind off of the stressful stuff. ¬†

Here’s my take on the spiked cider!

Spiked Pumpkin Spiced Pineapple Cider

INGREDIENTS:
  • 7 oz¬†pineapple juice
  • 3 tbs pumpkin pur√©e
  • 1 tbs.¬†honey (more or less to taste)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ¬ľ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¬ľ tsp cinnamon
  • ‚Öõ tsp ginger
  • dash nutmeg
  • dash allspice or cloves
  • 3 oz¬†white¬†rum¬†
  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend well.
  2. Fill two glasses with ice.
  3. Pour the mixture over ice and garnish with a dash of cinnamon and/or cinnamon sticks. Enjoy! Spiked Pumpkin Spiced Pineapple Cider

NOTES:

  • If making a hot cider, add to a small sauce pan and cook slowly over medium low or low heat. Cook until steaming. Garnish with cinnamon
  • The original recipe called for dark rum, however, white rum was the only thing I had available. If you’re feeling a little on the dark side, by all means, try it out ūüėȬ†

I hope you liked this recipe for my spiked cider.¬†Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Have a cocktail recipe or a pumpkin spiced recipe that you love, send it to me and I’ll give it a try.

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