There’s nothing quite like making your own homemade cider during apple season! 🍎🍁This recipe is as easy as pie—and the best part? You get to use those leftover apples to whip up some apple crisp, so nothing goes to waste! 🥧
When autumn winds start whispering through the trees and leaves begin their dance to the ground, it's the perfect time to cozy up with a steaming mug of homemade apple cider. If you're already a fan of this quintessential fall beverage, you know just how comforting it can be. The joy of making your own spiced apple cider can bring a sprinkle of magic to any chilly evening.
Here at Veginner Cooking, I'm all about simplicity, speed, and zero waste. You don't need to simmer your apples for three hours to get that rich, heartwarming flavor of traditional apple cider. I'm here to show you how to whip up a batch of scrumptious cider in just 30min and how to make the most out of every ingredient. And if you're looking to elevate your apple cider experience even further, I've got some flavorful tips to take your brew from basic to brilliant. Let's cook smart, waste less, and indulge in the deliciousness of fall.
Warm Spiced Apple Cider Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
10 apples, a mix of sweet and tart varieties, chopped
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
12 cups of water
½ cup of maple syrup (adjust to taste)
Ground cinnamon (topping)
Cinnamon sticks & cloves (for garnish)
Wash and chop your apples. Combine the apples with orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how much time you have and how strong you want the flavors to be.
Add the maple syrup, stirring well to combine. Taste and adjust the sweetness if necessary.
Use a potato masher to mash the apples to release more flavor after the simmering time is complete.
Strain the mixture to remove the apple pieces and save to make my apple crisp. Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
Serve the apple cider hot, garnished with a cinnamon stick and cloves, and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top.
Estimated Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories: 120 kcal
Protein: 0.2 g
Total Fat: 0.3 g
Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g
Sugars: 24 g
Sodium: 5 mg
Tips to Elevate Your Apple Cider
1. The Zing of Ginger
Nothing says 'warmth' like a hint of ginger. A small piece of fresh ginger root, either thinly sliced or grated, can infuse your cider with a spicy kick that'll warm you from the inside out. It adds a refreshing undercurrent that balances the sweetness of the apples perfectly.
2. Anise Aroma
For a touch of exotic spice, try tossing a couple of star anise into your pot. This star-shaped spice adds a beautiful licorice note that can make your cider taste like it's straight out of a storybook.
3. Captivating Cardamom
Commonly found in chai teas, cardamom pods can bring a unique, sweet-spicy flavor that makes your cider complex and fragrant. Crack them open to release their full potential.
4. Vanilla's Velvety Touch
Vanilla bean isn't just for desserts. Adding it to your apple cider can impart a creamy, sweet flavor that complements the tartness of the apples. If a whole vanilla bean isn't on hand, a splash of pure vanilla extract can work wonders too.
5. Citrus Contrast
Introducing lemon peel to your cider provides a bright contrast to its deep, spicy flavors. The slight bitterness and tanginess of the peel can cut through the sweetness and add an extra layer of flavor.
6. Sweetness Switch-Up
Experimenting with your sweeteners can yield delightful results. Brown sugar brings a deep molasses flavor. Adjust to taste, and find your perfect sweet spot.
7. The Boldness of Bourbon or Rum
If you're making this cider for an adult crowd, a splash of bourbon or dark rum can transform it into an evening treat. The smokiness of bourbon or the sweet warmth of rum enhances the cider's natural flavors beautifully.
8. A Peppery Surprise
For those who dare to be different, a pinch of black pepper can introduce an unexpected but pleasant warmth. It's an unusual addition, so start small with this potent spice.
Remember, the key to an extraordinary apple cider is balance. Each of these additions should be introduced with a light hand — you can always add more, but you can't take it away. So go ahead, give one (or a few!) of these tips a try and watch as your apple cider becomes the star of the season.
And don't forget, any leftover apples from making your cider can be the beginning of another fall favorite: my scrumptious apple crisp. Just make sure to remove anything you don't want to be chewing on from your leftover apple mixture. Happy fall! 🍁 Love, Cheryl