You can make apple cider any time of year, but with autumn approaching in North America and trees full of apples, it’s seems like a great time to share this recipe with you.
In its most simplest form, apple cider is made up of mostly apples and water, and a dash of ground cinnamon or other spices. When you make it yourself you can choose the types of apples, sweetener, and spices to use.
This recipe is really easy to make: I use an Instant Pot, but you can easily make this on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker. The Instant Pot is the fastest method, taking only 20 minutes under high pressure. On the stovetop it takes about 2 hours, and in a slow cooker it takes about 6 hours.
You can use any mix of apples, however I use apples on the sweeter side so that I don’t need to add much sweetener. I also add an orange to give the cider a subtle citrus flavor. I add sweetener after the cooking time so I can taste the cider to see how sweet it is and if and how much sweetener it I really need.
I usually add some ground cinnamon along with a few cinnamon sticks, and a star anise if I have it. There are other spice options you can try, including apple pie spice, allspice, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy, hot or cold.
- 1 Pressure cooker optional
- 10 medium apples or 8 large apples
- 1 orange seedless and skin peeled
- 3 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup optional; or honey or other sweetener
- Cut the apples up into large chunks or slices. Remove the core and stem, or cut around it. You can leave the skin on.
- Add the orange (remove the peel), apple slices, water, and cinnamon sticks to the Instant Pot along with 8 cups of water.
- Seal the pot and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes allow the pot to depressurize on its own for at least 10 minutes, and then use the release the valve to let any additional steam escape before opening the pot.
- Use a potato masher or large fork to mash up the apples to release any extra juice.
- Place a fine mesh strainer (or cheese cloth) over a sauce pan and pour the contents of the Instant Pot container into the strainer to separate the cider from the solids.
- Taste the cider and stir in about one to two tablespoons of maple syrup or other sweetener to bring the cider to the desired sweetness.
- Store the cider in the refrigerator for a few weeks or the freezer for a few months.