Think making apple cider is difficult? Think again! This homemade crockpot apple cider recipe is not only crazy easy but tastes delicious! I’m going to let you know up front, it has plums in it. A little different than most recipes but I think it really brings a different flavor to the cider. Let me show you how to make it! (There’s the printable version at the bottom!)
P.s. This will make your house smell SO good and keep it warm too! Even if you don’t drink cider, you should make it just for that fact alone. I kept walking in and out of the kitchen just to keep smelling it! Yum!
3 gala apples
3 fuji apples
4 cinnamon sticks
10 cups of water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Now, I chose to use gala and fuji apples because I wanted a cider that was in between overly sweet and tart. Fuji apples have a very sweet, sugary taste so I cut that with the addition of gala apples. For a less sweet version, you could use only gala and/or take some of the sugar out. The plums give the cider a hint of tartness and add a different sudtle sweetness to the cider. A lot of recipes that I have found use oranges in the cider, which sounds delicious, but I wanted to try something a little more subtle in flavor, hence the plums! This recipe is basic and can be tweaked depending on your preferences though! Maybe you really like cranberry? Try it out!
Leave a comment below in the comments section of what other combinations you have tried and how it turned out!
MAKING THE CIDER
First, you’re going to wash all your fruit thoroughly. I used warm water and rubbed the outside with a towel. Next, cut each side of the apples off the core. Discard the apples cores. For the plums, run your knife around the fruit, cutting all the way around. Twist and pull the halves apart. Using your knife or a spoon, push out the pit. You’ll notice the plums have a wax coating to them, even after you washed them. That is a natural coating the plums produce, so you don’t need to worry too much about that! Throw all the cut up fruit into the crockpot.
Toss 4 cinnamon sticks in. Then, grab a whole nutmeg and cut it in half. One half can go back in your cabinet, the other half will get cut in half again and added to the pot. We are going to thoroughly strain this later, so you don’t have to worry about drinking that nutmeg later.
Yum! We’ll top this off with 10 cups of water. Warm, cold, doesn’t really matter. It’s all going to get nice and toasty once the crockpot is turned on, which happens to be the next step! Oh, and if you notice you’re apples browning, it totally doesn’t matter for this recipe. Not saying I would let them sit out for an hour before cooking, but if you did, they’d be fine. These babies are going to cook on high with the lid on for about 3 hours. We want all the flavors to release from the fruit and start mingling!
TIME TO BLEND
After 3 hours, remove the lid and the 4 cinnamon sticks from the pot. MAKE SURE YOU GET THEM ALL! When I was testing this recipe, I left one in and the result was a very cinnamoney and slightly bitter cider. Eh. Use an immersion blender or regular blender and puree the apples and plums. I didn’t remove the nutmeg here. If you’re not a big fan of nutmeg, I would also remove that so it doesn’t get blended. If you use a regular blender, make sure to add a little of the cooking liquid so everything puree’s nicely.
Return the cinnamon sticks to the pot, add all of the sugar and continue cooking on high with the lid off for another 3 hours. This is really when you’re going to be happy you decided to give this recipe a try because your house is going to smell so good! A couple of notes; be sure to taste at this point. If you’re worried it’s going to be too sweet, hold off on adding all of the sugar. You can add more after the 3 hours if you want. The cider will also probably taste a little watery at this stage, that’s why it continues to cook with the lid off. Over the next 12 hours, the cider will reduce and become more concentrated.
This is after 3 hours. You can see how much it reduced! (The “line” was more obvious, but I stirred the cider a bunch before realizing I needed a picture! Oops!)
THE HARDEST PART
Turn your crockpot off and get your mesh strainer over a bowl. Ladle the cider into the strainer, stirring to help push the liquid through. Have a bowl close by to put that pulp into. If yu leave it in the strainer, it will take much longer to strain the liquid.
Next, rinse your strainer, lay your cheese cloth in and put over a new, clean bowl. Pour the liquid in first and let strain. Again, stir to help it along. Then add all of the pulp you collected into the strainer. This will go in your fridge to drain over night, or for about 12 hours.
After 12 hours, you’ll have something like this..
THAT’S IT FOLKS!
This recipe will yield about 8 cups of cider. Keep that pulp! Put it in a pot with water and simmer on the stove to keep that delicious cinnamon apple smell in the air! Your cider will be good for about a week in the fridge or pop some in the freezer to keep all year long. Enjoy cold or warm!
- 3 gala apples
- 3 fuji apples
- 6 plums
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 nutmeg
- 10 cups water
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- pinch salt
Wash all fruit. Cut sides off apples and discard core. Cut plums in half and discard pit.
Add apples, plums, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and water to crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours.
Remove cinnamon sticks and blend cider until mostly smooth. Put cinnamon sticks back in and cook uncovered for 3 more hours.
Remove from crock pot and strain through mesh strainer, holding pulp in a separate bowl. Strain liquid for a second time through cheese cloth. Once all liquid is strained, add pulp back into cheese cloth and sit in fridge overnight or 12 hours. Discard pulp and enjoy cider!