Crock Pot Apple Cider

adapted from Peanut Butter and Peppers

makes approximately 1 gallon

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 8-12 hours in crock; 3 hours in pot

Squeeze/strain time: 10 minutes

Cost: $3.35-3.75

(apples: 2.00, orange: .50, sugar: .35, spices--these are much pricier since they're whole, but I'm guessing on cost here--.50)

Note: If you don't have all these spices whole, you can make a little packet of spices. Use some coffee filters or a bit of linen cloth and wrap your ground spices into it. Then tie it with a twist tie and put it in your pot. I did this with nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon (I only had 2 whole cinnamon sticks on hand). You might have to guess the measurements a bit (I did), but I used 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and all was well with the world.

12 small or medium apples (Jennifer recommended assorted types, but I only had honey crisp since my kids ate all my golden delicious)

1 orange

1/2-1 C brown sugar (I actually used 1 1/4 C and did about 1/2 C of that granulated sugar)

4 cinnamon sticks

1 whole nutmeg 

1 Tbsp whole cloves

1 tsp whole allspice

water to cover

Cut the apples and orange into quarters (or halves if you're extra lazy). Throw them in the crock pot (no peeling, no coring). Add the spices and 1/2 C sugar (you can add more later if you'd like). Cover it with water. (This filled to the brim my 4-6 quart crock pot--that's right; I'm not sure which size it is.) Put the lid on and set it to low. I left mine overnight (probably for about 14 hours total, though it would have been ready before then). If you wanted it quicker, you could set it to high. 

When everything is mushy and fragrant, mash the fruit up. It'll look a little apple-saucy. Then pour it through a cheesecloth or tea towel into a large container. Squeeze out all the deliciousness (though you may have to let it cool a bit before you do this). Taste it for sugar and add more if you need to, and stir until dissolved. 

Serve warm or cold. I love it warm (love love love), but most of my family prefers their cider cold (weidos). 

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: