Want to know the secret to the perfect smelling house in autumn? That’s an easy one. Stovetop Apple Cider.
Make a big batch, and your house will smell like heaven. Pure, unadulterated, 100 percent homemade, spicy apple cider deliciousness. If you’re having a party this fall, this is an easy warm autumn beverage you can make ahead. And it’s so much better than anything store bought. Emphasis on the easy.
Here’s what you’re going to do: Fill a giant pot with quartered apples plus a quartered orange and lemon. Those last two are for tart flavor to cut the sweetness. Next, you’re going to add spices, but they have to be the whole kind. You can add whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg pods. You could even add a small piece of star anise (but star anise is quite potent so don’t put in the entire thing). Cover everything with water, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, and let it sit for a few hours. You’ll know it’s getting close when your place starts to smell amazing.
You’ll need to do a little mashing and straining, but that’s pretty much it. Once you’ve got it ready to go, stir in some sugar and maple syrup (or whatever sweetener you desire). And then, serve it warm! Maybe even spike it with a little whiskey, bourbon or rum if you so desire.
The important thing is everyone is going to freak when they find out you made it from scratch. And you don’t have to tell them how easy it is. I won’t tell. // susannah
Click through to see the Stovetop Apple Cider recipe!
- 9 apples of several varieties (I used 3 each of red, yellow and green apples)
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1/4 whole star anise
- 1 gallon water, approximately
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cups whiskey, bourbon or rum, for spiking (optional)
- Quarter the apples, lemon and orange. Don’t worry about cutting out the stem and seeds.
- Layer the fruit in a large stock pot with the spices. Cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 hours.
- Use a spoon or potato masher to mash the apples, orange and lemon. Cook for another 1 hour.
- Strain the cider into a large pitcher or bowl to remove the fruit and pulp. Mash the juices out of the remaining fruit.
- Stir in the sugar and maple syrup (or whatever sweetener you desire) until dissolved. Stir in alcohol if using. Serve warm.