With apples, pears and oranges, this is a full-flavored cider that is ripe with fall spices. This Slow Cooker Apple Pear Cider is a warm drink that makes a ton and would be great for holiday get togethers. This spiced drink is naturally gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut and tree nut free; top 8 free as well as vegan.
Lately in the store I keep seeing specialty pop-up stands full of gallons of apple cider. I wasn’t thrilled about the “specialty” prices, but I got it for my boys anyways. Since they’re huge apple juice fans (what kids aren’t??) they inhaled it.
I was disappointed when I looked at the label because most that I can find are something like “apples, water, concentrate” and only sometimes “spices”. I wanted something that had whole fruit in it, and had a decent amount of kick and spices to it. If it takes like apple juice then I’m disappointed, I want a distinct different flavor from my cider.
I loved this Slow Cooker Apple Pear Cider recipe because it had not only apples, but pears for additional sweetness and an orange too! I loved that you used tons of real fruit to really steep out that great flavor, and that I could control how much sugar I put in it.
We always have a stack of apples, so making sure I had enough pears and oranges was easy. I had all of the spices, so this really is an easy recipe. You simply wash the fruit, dice it, add some water and let it do it’s thing.
AND LET ME TELL YOU…the smell is just dreamy. This Slow Cooker Apple Pear Cider is better than the best candle. Your whole house smells incredible. I kept thinking how great this would be for Thanksgiving, or a holiday party–talk about inviting if people smell this when they come in and can have a delicious, warm drink when they come in from the cold.
If you have the whole spices, that is great! You can easily fish them out after. If you don’t, which I typically don’t, I put the ground versions. The ground works great, but you will notice some leftover spices in your cup or bottles–which to me is no big deal. In fact, I love seeing it in my drink because it reminds me where all that yummy taste is coming from.
Be sure to taste and adjust how much sugar you want. I found my apples were more on the tart side–you never know what you’ll get. I’d start with a half cup brown sugar (or you could even sub honey if you’re not vegan) and go from there.
I hope this Slow Cooker Apple Pear Cider warms you and some friends this fall and winter. Another fun drink option if you’re looking for a carbonated version is this Thanksgiving Punch Thyme and Joy.
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- 7 medium apples
- 2 pears
- 1 whole orange (do not peel)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 12 cups water
- 1/2 to 1 cup brown sugar or other sweeter of choice, to taste
- Set your slow cooker on high--be sure it's a large enough one to hold all of the water needed.
- Wash and cut all fruit. It's OK if the seeds are still in it. Be sure to keep the skin on for additional flavor.
- Add the spices, half cup of brown sugar and water and cover. Cook for four hours.
- After four hours, take a potato masher and squish that fruit! You want to get all the good stuff out of it.
- Put the lid back on and allow it to meld for one more hour. This can meld longer, if you need it to.
- When you're ready to serve, taste it and see if additional sugar/sweetener is needed. When it's the right level of sweetness, strain the fruit, pulp and seeds with a fine mesh strainer.
- If you have any left after serving, keep covered in the refrigerator and warm when you're ready to serve again (it's also good cold).
Adapted from: Peas and Peonies
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