Apple Cider has always been my favorite fall-time drink. Warm, cinnamon-infused fall in a glass. I remember year after year rummaging through our kitchen cabinets trying to find any remaining apple cider packets to make. If I found any, they were usually ancient, though I'd make them anyway. Needless to say, home made apple cider is waaaay better than the packets! Especially better than the 5 year old ones found in the back of the cupboard. I'm speaking from experience here.
Stovetop apple cider is soooo the way to go. The aroma fills up the entire kitchen, if not the entire house. Not only is it a great drink to serve at a party, but it also works as a stovetop potpourri. I just had to google 3 different versions of my attempts to spell "potpourri" to finally figure out the correct spelling.
There are a couple ways you can go about making this apple cider. Here are the different options:
1. You can juice the apples first (so you don't have any pulp to worry about). Then boil the mixture, and it can be served hot from the pot. Probably my first choice, if I had a juicer handy.
2. Blend the apples in a blender, and boil mixture with pulp and all. Once it's done, you strain it.
3. Slice up the apples, boil mixture, and then drain.
I went with option 3, because I didn't have a juicer handy, and didn't feel like blending the apples since I was going to strain it in the end anyway!
So the apples (juiced/blended/sliced), water, orange slices, lemon slices, and spices are brought to a boil for about an hour on the stove.
Then the temperature is turned down and the mixture is brought to a simmer. It should simmer for another hour or two. After it's strained, it's ready to serve!
I didn't add any sugar to mine, but if you want it sweeter, you could add 1/2 cup of sugar to the mixture. The apples are naturally sweet so it's really pretty sweet without sugar.
Stovetop Apple Cider Recipe:
water to cover the apples in the pot, (I used about 5 cups)
2 cinnamon sticks
nutmeg to taste
2 orange slices
2 lemon slices
Quarter apples, and place in a large pot. Fill pot with water until the apples are covered.
Add cinnamon sticks, fruit slices, and nutmeg and bring to a boil over med-high heat.
Let boil for 1 hour, stirring often. Apples will start to break down and become mushy.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with lid, and let it simmer for another 1-2 hours, stirring often.
Taste to see if it needs more nutmeg or cinnamon.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer or a cheesecloth.
Serve hot or cold.