This delicious homemade apple cider recipe is easy to customize with your preferred type and amount of sweetener. See notes above for Instant Pot (pressure cooker) and Crock-Pot (slow cooker) instructions.
- 10–12 medium apples (assorted types), quartered
- 2 oranges, quartered (also peeled, if you would like your cider less tart*)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- optional extra seasonings: 1 teaspoon whole allspice, 1 whole nutmeg, and/or 1 inch fresh ginger
- 16 cups water, more or less
- 1/2 cup sweetener (I recommend brown sugar or maple syrup)
- Combine your ingredients in a stockpot. Add the apples, oranges, cinnamon, cloves and (optional) extra seasonings to a large stockpot. Cover with water, leaving about an inch or two of space at the top of the stockpot.
- Simmer. Heat the cider over high heat until it reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the apples are completely soft.
- Mash the apples and oranges. Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, take a minute to mash all of the apples and oranges against the side of the stockpot to release more of their flavors. Then cover and simmer for 1 more hour.
- Strain. Using a fine-mesh strainer or a cheesecloth, strain out all of the solids (apples, oranges, spices), pressing them against the strainer to release all of their juices. Discard the solids.
- Sweeten. Stir in your desired amount of sweetener, to taste.
- Serve warm. Then, your cider is all ready to go! For extra presentation points, I like to add a few fresh orange slices and cinnamon sticks back to the stockpot for pretty serving. But however you like to serve it, your cider is now ready to go and enjoy. Or feel free to let the cider cool to room temperature, then transfer to a sealed pitcher and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
*Oranges: Peeling the oranges first will reduce the tartness of the cider, if you would like.