If you have never had real homemade apple cider then you are in for such an amazing treat. This is my grandma’s recipe and she would make this just once a year despite us begging her on every Holiday! The secret?? She would take her apple cider recipe and turn it into concentrate. This could be then used for making regular hot apple cider, spiked cider, baking treats, or even yummy candies!
I love the crisp sweetness of the apple paired with the warm and cozy spices that turns this dish into the ideal fall drink. My grandma would make up batch after batch of her cider in varying strengths to be used in all different types of foods and elixirs- even her special apple cider stuffing. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of things you can make with concentrated apple cider- its seriously so amazingly good.
Now I will also tell you that my grandmother hand picked each apple from a local orchard– which nowadays is a bit harder to do, but since its fall you might be able to find some cool places to go apple picking! I prefer the Fuji apples, but its totally up to you and your taste buds! For sweeter cider, try Gala, Fuji, Cortland, Golden Delicious, or Red Delicious varieties; for a more acidic, tart flavor, go with Pink Lady, Braeburn, Jonathan, or McIntosh.
Homemade Apple Cider Recipe
Apple Cider Recipe
- 12 Apples Medium Sized, sliced in to quarters- Any Variety ok
- 3/4 cup Sugar Less is ok for more tart flavor and substitute works fine.
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground allspice
- 15 cups water
- 2 tbsp Zest from Orange
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 sticks cinnamon stick
- Place apples in a large stockpot and add approximately 14 cups of water or enough liquid to cover the apples by at least 2 inches. Stir in sugar, ground cinnamon, and allspice. Bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover pot, reduce heat, and simmer for another 2 hours.
- Once cooled, strain apple mixture though a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. Drain cider again though a cheesecloth lined sieve. Once the cider runs clear- you can refrigerate it and save the next step for later or just moved into step 3.
- Place the liquid back onto the stove, add the zest, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks and boil again until the liquid is reduced to about 2 cups. It will be thick and smell amazing.
Apple Cider Concentrate
Making your apple cider concentrated allows the flavor to be more intense but not too sweet. You can develop a number of recipes with the concentrate. Its also easier to save or even freeze. To make the concentrate, you just need to add the apple cider back to the stock pot, add in the orange zest, cloves, cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid reduces to about 1 1/2 – 2 cups and is a bit thicker in consistency.
Side Note: Making this will make your home smell AMAZING!! The fragrance will permeate every area in your house and cause everyone living within to ask you constantly- “is it done yet, is it done yet?” Seriously, you will have sweet dreams the night you make this!
For natural cozy scents during the fall, I will make a few batches of this apple cider recipe and create my awesome cinnamon pine cones that last all season long. Your house will feel so warm and delightful all season long.
Recipe Ideas To Make With your Cider
So now you have your concentrate apple cider and you can make whatever you like with it! Of course most people like a simple warm apple cider to sip on at night so in order to do that, just take 1/4 cup of the concentrate and about 3/4 cup water and mix. I start with a little concentrate and a little water and taste as I add more of this and that. I will use a tea kettle to boil some water if I want a toasty mug and toss in some sliced apples, a cinnamon stick or even an orange slice.
You can make your apple cider hot or cold actually- tastes great either way.
For a Spiked Apple Cider Cocktail you can mix in a shot of dark rum and a dash of cinnamon schnapps with a twist of orange rind for a delightful adult drink. You can make a nice little hot toddy by tossing in some whiskey or apple brandy and it will keep you warm all night.
For a fun kids treat, try adding a scope of ice cream to chilled cider for a delicious cinnamon apple float! Or just mix with crushed ice for a slushy treat.
I can’t tell you how much I love the feeling of coming in from the cold and wrapping my hands around a steaming hot mug of grandmas apple cider. My pumpkin latte recipe is a close second though!
This simple tradition of making grandmas apple cider recipe every Holiday season has created so many fantastic memories for me and the kids over the years. The joy of apple picking with your little guys is so heart warming. Then getting to create a special treat from all the hard work is beyond rewarding. Plus the warm homey feel that you get when cooking is simply amazing.
Stay tuned for a few of my favorite recipes I love to make using the apple cider concentrate! Let us know what you think of the recipe!