This homemade mulled (hot) apple cider will have your kitchen smelling amazing! Make this in your slow cooker or electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
After I made homemade mulled cider for the first time, I never store-bought it again. After you make this once I think you’ll understand why. It’s super simple and a heck of a lot healthier. At least for me, it’s cheaper to buy 7 apples than to buy store-bought cider full of added preservatives. Not that I drink a lot of mulled cider, just around the holidays.
What Type Of Apples To Use
You can use your preferred apple but I recommend a sweet apple like gala or red delicious. The apples you see in the picture here are gala apples. There’s no need to remove the skin from the apples before adding them to the slow cooker or electric pressure cooker. The apples are just going to get mashed up and strained anyway so there’s no need to waste your time with peeling them.
Using A Sweetener
This is the honest truth. I used to always add either honey or maple syrup to this recipe. When making this most recent time in my Instant Pot, I forgot to add the sweetener and I though it taste better without it. But that’s just me. I say that admitting that I don’t have a sweet tooth (hence the lack of dessert recipes on this blog). Add the sweetener of your choice whether it be maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, stevia etc.
Add-Ins & Substitutions
What I love about homemade mulled cider is that every recipe is different. I like to add things like citrus (I use a sliced orange but lemon can also be used) and fresh cranberries. Sometimes I even add 1/2 teaspoon of an apple pie spice like the one from Primal Palate. If you don’t like any of these ingredients, omit them.
Serving & Storing Mulled Cider
After the cider has completed cooking and you have mashed it, it’s time to strain the cider. I run mine through a mesh strainer at least twice to remove excess pulp. Mulled cider is intended to be served hot. You can reheat the cider on the stove-top or in the microwave. This is a great recipe to serve at your next potluck or dinner party. After you strain the fruit out and add the cider back into the slow cooker, keep it on the WARM setting while you serve it. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Yes, this is also good served cold!
Other hot beverage recipes you might enjoy:
- 3 pounds apples, cored & sliced
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Water (approx 6-8 cups)
- 4 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1/2 cup sweetener of your choice (optional)
- 1/2 tsp apple pie spice (optional)
- Add apples, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and sweetener (if using) to the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the apples, approx 6-8 cups.
- Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4-6 or until apples are soft.
- Directly in the slow cooker, mash the softened apples with a potato masher or wooden spoon.
- Strain mashed fruit out using mesh strainer. Pour cider back into the slow cooker.
- Add apples, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and sweetener (if using) to the electric pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover the apples.
- Close lid and seal valve. Set high pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Natural release pressure.
- Directly in the pressure cooker, mash the softened apples with a potato masher or wooden spoon.
- Strain mashed fruit out using mesh strainer. Pour cider back into the pressure cooker.
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