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Making homemade apple cider has become a tradition in my college apartment in the Fall, just because it is so easy! My sophomore year roommate and I first discovered the trick watching a TikTok but after much experimentation, I am confident that I can show you how to make an even better version.

Ingredients

6-10 cup slow cooker
10 apples (approximately)
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
all-spice
1 orange (optional)

Before you Start…

This recipe can be used for slow cookers between 6 and 10 cups of water. While the original recipe required a slow cooker that held 10 cups, mine only holds 6 so I made some alterations to the recipe. I’m also not a big fan of cinnamon, so this recipe does contain the bare minimum of spices that I could get away with using. If you use a lot of cinnamon, it might be a good idea to cut back on the other spices and vice versa.

The best options for making sweet homemade apple cider are Gala, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Pink Lady.
The best options for making tart homemade apple cider are Granny Smith, McIntosh, and Jonathan.
I’ve found that the best batches of apple cider come from an assortment of both sweet and tart apples, and you should use less spices when using more tart apples.

First,

Dice your apples into cubes. For a 6-cup slow cooker, I use 6-8 apples based on how rich I want the apple cider to be. For a 10-cup slow cooker, I use 8-10 apples. Using more apples and less water will make the cider much more concentrated. Once I fill the slow cooker with apples, I measure out the amount of water I need based on the number of apples and the size. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave for two hours.

If you plan to include orange, cut it into fours and add to taste. I’ve found that I prefer ciders with less citrus, so it may be a good idea to only add a quarter or two of the orange and adjust accordingly.

Second,

After the two hours, use a wooden spoon to smash the softened bits of apples. This will extract the juice that hadn’t already been cooked out and infused into the water. If you added oranges, you should remove them here to save the cider from becoming too bitter. Leave on low for another two hours.

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Finally,

After another two hours, you can strain your apple cider. I always strain my cider twice: once through a colander and a second time through cheese cloth, if it’s available. If you don’t have cheese cloth on hand, you can strain through the colander again. This removes all of the pieces of apples and leaves you with pure apple cider. You should also be sure to remove any whole spices you included.

Tip: Save the remains of the apples to make into apple sauce by cooking it down further for another thirty minutes.

Enjoy!

The cider saves in the refrigerator for a week or can be kept in the freezer all season. My roommates like to enjoy their warm cider with a stick of cinnamon but personally, I prefer a doughnut.

Anna is a student at the University of Michigan pursuing a dual-degree in English and Creative Writing and Literature with a minor in Polish Language, Literature, and Culture. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Her Campus UMich chapter.
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