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 😉 ) . 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.
Here’s how I make it. Enjoy!
Homemade Apple Cider
- 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)
- (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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Strain apples and liquid in a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth to remove any fine apple pieces.
- Serve immediately if you like your cider warm or allow to chill for a few hours if you like it cool.
- Pour cider into an airtight container and store in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for later use.
- Enjoy this sweet, flavor punch to mouth! 😉
- 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.
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