Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spiced Apple Cider from the Crock Pot

To tell the truth, this was intended to be the last post of Crocktober. But, as we found ourselves in MA with no power on that particular day, the cider didn't quite happen. So here it is, a bit late, but hopefully better late than never.

This afternoon I set up the crock before we took off for an Autumn drive-then-walk in the woods, and it was warm and yummy by the time we got back. And what could be nicer to come home to? Also the apartment still kinda smelled like bacon from this morning. A pretty winning combination, if you ask me.
It was a pretty nice walk.
 This cider is seasoned with yummy fall spices, tangerine zest, and just a little bit of honey. If you're craving a sweet, coffee house-style cider, try Crockpot 365's Crock Pot Caramel Apple Cider, which is made with caramel syrup. Of course, buying a pre-mixed tin of mulling spices is never a bad idea (many of which can be used both for cider and for red wine), but the odds are pretty good that you already have everything you need for my version.

Setting up the 5-quart crock.
1/2 gallon unsweetened apple cider (this is an estimate; we had a gallon jug that was maybe a little more than half full)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 pinch each ground allspice and ground cloves
Grated zest of 1 ripe tangerine or orange

1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot, and heat on "low" for 2-4 hours, or until cider is well-warmed and flavors have diffused. (If you're squeamish about the zest solids, you can pour it through a wire strainer to get the bulky stuff out but leave the spices behind).

This is so seasonal I almost can't stand it. Almost.
Of course, this being a chilly Autumn night, we eventually turned our spiced cider into - as my Dad would say - an "adult beverage" with spiced rum. This would be a great party beverage, too. Just heat it up a couple of hours ahead of time, then keep on the "warm" setting with a ladle at the ready, either as a festive punch or an equally festive non-alcoholic beverage. (I don't know whether or not the alcohol would cook off, but I think I would add the rum just before serving, just to be sure).

Quote of the Day: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. ~ Dreamt up by American apple growers in the 1900s who were concerned that the temperance movement would cut into their hard cider sales. [Source]

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