Gather all of the beautiful, fresh, Fall and Winter fruit available, pop it into the crock pot with some warming spices, and get all snuggle with this delicious homemade fall harvest Hot Crockpot Apple Cider. It is warm and comforting, and this recipe is a must in your arsenal of Fall drinks to nourish and delight. This is the perfect option when entertaining. Make a big batch of during the holiday season, and keep warm to serve to guests throughout the cold winter nights (I also have an easy tip for making it an adult drink in the serving suggestions). The perfect winter beverage.
Fall Harvest Hot Crockpot Apple Cider
You are going to love this easy apple cider recipe made in the crockpot using all of the beautiful fresh produce available in Fall.
Not only does it taste delicious, but it will make your home smell absolutely amazing while it bubbles away in the slow cooker.
The best part? It is made in the slow cooker, so you can just dump in the ingredients and let it simmer away while you get everything else done.
Ingredients You Need?
Homemade apple cider is so comforting and delicious, I always go through a couple of batches during Fall.
Plus it makes the house smell all comfy and festive.
It requires just a handful of seasonal fruit, some spices, and a touch of natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup and you have yourself a warm glass of Fall to get you in the spirit of the season.
Gather together these simple ingredients:
- Apples: these can be red apples or green apples or a combination of both;
- Persimmon: this fruit is only available in the cooler months, it is orange in color and can be found in the fruit section;
- Pears: choose sweet pears that are ripe and soft to the touch;
- Oranges: any variety of oranges will work. You can either chop the whole orange and use it as is, or you could zest the orange before removing the skin and all of the white pith which can cause a bitter flavor, and just use the orange zest and flesh of the orange;
- Pomegranate arils: this is also only in season in the cooler months and can be found in the fruit section. You can also usually find deseeded pomegranate in the cold section of grocery stores year-round. If pomegranates are expensive or scarce where you are, this can be left out;
- Cinnamon sticks: these can be found in the spice section;
- Mulling Spices: this can be found in a well-stocked grocery store and consists of a mixture of whole spices including cinnamon, allspice, dried orange peel, whole star anise, whole cloves, and orange oil;
- Honey: you can use maple syrup or another liquid sweetener of choice if you would prefer to keep this recipe vegan.
Optional extras for the perfect mulled apple cider recipe include apple juice or some brown sugar if you like your apple cider to be on the sweeter side.
This cider is a great way to use up some of the old, wrinkly, forgotten fruit languishing at the bottom of the fruit bowl or the back of the fridge at the end of the week as long as it hasn't started to spoil. It will be mashed up at the end of slow cooking anyway, so leave the fresh and pretty fruit for styling your warm drink.
I have definitely been known to sneak some overly squishy pears bound for the garbage in there, and they tasted great (so much sweeter)!
Play around with the fruit you have on hand, and make it your own.
How To Make Cider In the Slow Cooker
This easy hot apple cider recipe comes together with limited input by you other than chopping the fruit.
Chop the apples, persimmons, and pears into quarters before removing the core and then cutting them into thin slices. We want the apple to break down while cooking in the slow cooker so that it releases all of its flavors and can be easily mashed with a potato masher, so keep the slices thin.
You can leave the skin on if preferred, however, be sure to wash the fruit really well to be sure any harsh chemicals have been removed.
Cut the oranges into slices. Again, keep the slices thin so that the orange juice can be released. If you are sensitive to bitter flavors, you might want to zest the orange and remove the skin, just using the zest and orange flesh in the cider mixture.
Tie the mulling spices in some cheesecloth or a reusable cotton tea bag. This will make it easier to remove once the mulled cider is ready.
Pop all of the chopped fruit, along with the water, cinnamon sticks, and mulling spices into the crockpot. Pop on the lid and set it to low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.
TIP: if you do not have a slow cooker, this could be made in a large pot instead. Simply follow the instructions but allow to simmer on the stovetop over medium heat until the fruit is soft enough to mash. Once strained, keep warm over low heat.
After the time is done, remove the mulling spices, and use a potato masher to mash the fruit and cinnamon sticks gently into the liquid.
Once mashed, remove as much of the fruit as possible, and then use a fine mesh strainer or a large coffee filter over a large bowl to strain the cider and remove any bits of fruit and errant spices.
Pour the strained apple cider back into the slow cooker, and put it on the 'keep warm' setting. Alternatively, if you won't be serving straight away then put the cider aside and allow it to cool completely before storing it in jars or another airtight container and cooling in the fridge.
Having guests over? Make a double batch of cider so you have plenty to go around.
Serve hot spiced apple cider warm, adding some honey or maple syrup to sweeten if required.
I love to garnish mine with some orange and apple slices, some pomegranate arils, star anise, and a stick of cinnamon to make it pretty, however, this is completely optional.
Why not try adding some Dehydrated Orange Slices for extra flavor?
If you like to be planned in advance, this can be made ahead of time, cooled, and stored in the fridge until needed. When it comes time to serve simply reheat the whole batch in the crockpot on the keep warm setting, or heat just one cup at a time in a saucepan on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Want to make this a hard cider for adult winter drinks?
Simply add in some dark rum or spiced rum and you have a delicious adult-friendly hard cider to warm you from the inside out.
Storing and Freezing
Leftover warm apple cider should be allowed to cool completely to room temperature, before being transferred to appropriate containers and stored in the fridge.
It also freezes really well, for detailed instructions on how to freeze properly check out this article: Can You Freeze Apple Cider And Apple Juice?
Speaking of Fall fruit, make sure you use up leftover cranberries with some Pumpkin and Fresh Cranberry Bread or Cranberry and Clove Apple Sauce. They will definitely keep you in the holiday spirit, and make your house smell amazing to boot 🙂
Do you have a favorite easy recipe you enjoy when the cooler weather rolls around? I would love to hear from you so be sure to leave a comment below. Or if you are in a rush simply leave a star rating on the recipe card.
Fall Harvest Crockpot Apple Cider
- Slow Cooker
- Cheese cloth or spice bag
- 4 apples use multiple varieties and colors
- 2 persimmons
- 1 pear I used an asian pear
- 1 orange
- 1 pomegranate seeds removed
- 9 cups water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons mulling spices
- honey, maple syrup or brown sugar to taste
- Wash all fruit very well.
- Cut the apples, persimmons, and pears into quarters and remove the cores. Cut into thin slices. You can leave the skin on.4 apples, 2 persimmons, 1 pear
- Cut the orange into thin slices. If you are sensitive to bitter flavors, you may want to zest the orange, remove the skin, and just use the zest and flesh in the cider.1 orange
- Use a cheesecloth, or a cotton spice bag to wrap the mulling spices.2 tablespoons mulling spices
- Pop all of the fruit, along with the water, cinnamon sticks, and mulling spices into the crockpot. Set on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.9 cups water, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 pomegranate
- Once cooking time is done, remove the mulling spices from the liquid. Use a potato masher to gently mash the fruit and cinnamon sticks and release their flavor.
- Remove as much of the fruit as possible and discard it.
- Use a small gapped strainer to strain the cider liquid and remove any small pieces of fruit or spices.
- Pour the cider back into the slow cooker, and set it to keep warm.
- Serve warm, and use some honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar to sweeten if required. Garnish with some orange and apple slices, some pomegranate arils, and a cinnamon stick to make it pretty. You could also add some dehydrated orange slices for decoration.honey, maple syrup or brown sugar to taste
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.