One of my favorite things to do in the fall is drive to the Louisburg Cider Mill and get some fresh cider and doughnuts. Last week the grocery store had honeycrisp apples on sale. I picked some up to make homemade apple cider. Most recipes for apple cider actually start out using apple cider itself. I wanted to try to make mine from scratch. It’s a great way to help control the sugar content.
The ingredients cook together until the fruit is soft and the spices are infused. To make the process easier, the cider is made in a slow cooker. While the cider was cooking, I didn’t have to worry about being home standing over the stove top. Your house will smell amazing!
Don’t throw away the apples when the cider is done, make some apple butter. Peeling and coring the apple slices will take about 15 minutes – that little extra time and effort is definitely worth it. The apple butter is delicious plain, but you can use it on toast and pancakes, stir it into ice cream, or even use it as cinnamon roll filling!
- 8 Honeycrisp apples
- 1 orange
- 2 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 1/4" pieces of ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 cups water
- Slice, peel and core the apples.
- Slice the orange. The peel adds a slight bitter taste to the cider; leave it on or remove it depending on your preferences.
- Add all ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours (or on high for 3 hours).
- Using a potato masher, mash the apple slices until they are broken up into small pieces.
- Cook for 1 more hour, then pour the solids away from the cider using a fine mesh strainer. To make apple butter using the leftover apple pieces, see the instructions below.
- Serve warm or chilled. Cider can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator.
To make apple butter with your leftover apple pieces, remove any pieces of orange, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon from your apples. Puree the apples in a food processor until smooth. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and 1 cup water (or cider). Cook in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 30-40 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
This post is sponsored by Hamilton Beach. I received a Programmable Stay or Go® 6 Quart Slow Cooker to review and was given the opportunity to give one to a reader as well. All brand opinions are my own as always. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make this site possible!