Homemade Apple Cider

Homemade apple cider is the greatest thing about fall. It's extremely easy to make and the perfect way to use up all of those extra apples you thought would turn into apple pie after going apple picking. It's warm, full of spice, and just sweet enough. It's perfect to put on before your Thanksgiving guests show up because it will fill your home with all of your favorite fall scents. Apple cider will stay good in your refrigerator for 2 weeks. Be sure to let it cool down completely before refrigerating. 

Use the largest pot you have to make this apple cider or split the ingredients between two pots so that it doesn't boil over. Use your favorite apples or the ones you have on hand. The stronger flavored apples, like Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, will give your cider a stronger flavor! It might feel weird to smash the apples after 2 hours, but go ahead and smash them with a potato masher or just a large wooden spoon as best you can. There's a lot of important apple flavor hiding in there. You'll strain the whole thing through a fine mesh strainer to catch any solids. Use a ladle to help with this as there's a lot of liquid. 

Made this? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 

Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on July 27, 2020 to include more information about the dish.

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Yields: 2 quarts
Prep Time: 0 hours 10 mins
Total Time: 3 hours 15 mins

large apples, quartered


orange, halved


cinnamon sticks

1 tsp.


1 tsp.

whole allspice


whole nutmeg

1/2 c.

packed brown sugar

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, add apples, oranges, spices, and brown sugar. Cover with water by at least 2”. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 2 hours. 
  2. Remove orange halves, then use a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash apples. Return to a simmer and let simmer uncovered for 1 hour more.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on solids with a wooden spoon to squeeze all juices out. Discard solids. 
  4. Serve apple cider warm.

Emily Hlavac Green
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