Holiday Mulled Crockpot Cider2012-03-23
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Baby it’s cold outside…well sometimes. We actually had a 75 degree day one day this week. Ya just never know in Oklahoma.
The holidays are and have been upon us. We like to start a crockpot of this cider on Thanksgiving and Christmas and pretty much every weekend in between. Not only is it warm goodness to sip on in the evenings, but it makes your house smell heavenly as well.
But for the most part, the weather here has dropped significantly requiring hoodies, sweaters, blankets. socks and the worst of all…pantyhose. I hate pantyhose almost as much as I hate spiked high heels, and think it highly unfair that men don’t have to suffer the misery of either. I mean, the things us woman have to endure to look marvelous..I tell ya..
Anyway, I actually like cool weather. I realize that places that stay warm all year have their perks, but I love the change in seasons. Especially here in Oklahoma. I love it when the 100 degree days spiral down to the 80′s, and then the mercury continues to drop to even the 60′s and 50′s. I love wrapping up in a blanket on a cold Saturday afternoon and popping in a movie.
But nothing makes it more perfect than a good cup of warm, fragrant Spiced Cider.
This recipe is made in your crock pot, but can be made in a pot on your stove as well. Just simmer it for 15 minutes or so on your stove and you’re good to go. However, the added bonus to the crockpot over the stove is
#1) if you walk away and forget about it, it won’t evaporate or reduce away, and
#2) the heavenly aroma it fragrances your home with all day long.
So, to begin, pour a gallon of apple cider into your crockpot.
If you can’t find cider, you can use plain ol apple juice. But cider is especially special.
Now, the spices of mulled cider beg for this spice, the most important ingredient of spiced cider. I like to use whole cloves and just smash them up a bit in a plastic baggie first to release their flavors, but you can always use the powdered kind like above.
Cloves just give it that little hint of something’ something’ at the back of your palate. Add in one tablespoon of ground cloves, or about 10 or so whole cloves. If you don’t like floaties in your drinks, tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth.
Next, add 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I like my cider smooth with just a hint of tartness.
Add 1 tablespoon of Allspice.
Add 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks. They look pretty floating on top.
Slice up one whole orange.
And float the pieces right into the pool.
Some people use juice, but I prefer the pretty oranges floating on top and also, this way you release the essential oils in the rind of the orange as well.
And that’s all folks. Just pop on your crockpot lid and turn your setting to High.
I left mine like this for several hours, then turned it down to Low.
Now if you are a picky texture floaty person, you might want to strain this before you serve it through some cheese cloth or a fine sieve.
However, as one person who refuses to drink pulp in orange juice, it didn’t bother me at all. The spices kind of melt in with the cider. But there may be some residue in the bottom of your cup, so you decide.
Ladle it out into a nice mug or cup.
During mid-afternoon at some point, it occurred to me that this would be fabulously amazing with one of my Triple Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Bars. I think it was the incredible scent of the mix of apples and spices that drew me.
I made up a tray and set off to watch Patrick Swayze for the millionth time in Point Break on some off-cable channel.
Let’s have a minute of silence in remembrance of Patrick. I will always have the biggest crush on him that goes way back to the 80′s. I remember being pregnant with Tori and with my hormones all out of whack, sobbing all the way to the parking lot after watching Ghost for the first time. I was astounded to learn he was 57 when he died recently. I would have guessed early 40′s. He still looked that good.
So, it is a nice crisp cold winter day
I am under a quilt, sipping Spiced Cider.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Katie’s Printable Recipe – Crockpot Mulled Cider
Cooking with love,
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