Homemade Hot Apple Cider

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend to all my fellow Canadians! To all the American readers, happy Sunday! 

Whether you live north or south of the border, making this apple cider is going to be your new fall tradition. It's easy, it's crazy delicious, and it makes your entire place smell ridiculously good

I've seen tons of photos of people going apple picking on instagram and I am so jealous! It looks so picturesque and autumny and cozy and delightful. I could go apple picking here but it would probably take me a couple hours to get out there and my boyfriend and I don't have the same days off and I don't know if anyone but me wants to go frolicking through an apple orchard while wearing a big scarf and a flannel shirt and my socks that have bears on them. What's a girl to do.

So instead of prancing among the apple trees and plucking apples to put in my wooden basket, I walked down to the grocery store and picked up a bunch of locally grown apples ($3 for 10 apples! Whaaat!). Not as picturesque, but I still wore my socks with bears on them. 

I quartered the apples, cored them, and tossed them into my dutch oven. Some water, some whole spices, a nice big vanilla bean, and onto the stove it went. Almost immediately, the most heavenly scent started to fill my apartment. Warm spices and cooking apples blended together to create one of them best smells ever. Someone should make that into a candle - oh wait...

After waiting two agonizing hours while it cooked, the cider was ready to be pureed and strained. Ideally, I'd have a really nice blender and maybe some cheesecloth for that process, but all I have is an immersion blender (still good) and a fine-mesh sieve. The apple cider that I was left with was thicker than the store-bought kind, but that was easily fixed with a bit more water. 

The taste, however, was perfect. Very lightly sweetened with a bit of brown sugar and maple syrup, thick and rich, so full of apple flavour, and just the perfect fall drink to warm you up on those chilly afternoons and evenings. 

Curl up with a blanket, a good book, and a warm mug of this delicious apple cider and you'll be ready to take on even the darkest and dreariest of fall and winter days. Socks with bear on them are optional, but highly recommended.

Homemade Hot Apple Cider

10 large apples, such as Honeycrisp, Fuji, Gala, etc.
1 L water
1 vanilla bean
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)

Quarter the apples and removes the core and stems. Place into a large pot and add the water, vanilla bean, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and sweeteners if desired. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 30 minutes. 

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.

Turn off the heat and let cool. Remove the spices and vanilla bean. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the apple mix until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.



  1. Homemade cider is the best! And such a special seasonal treat. This sounds lovely.

    1. It really is, I never knew it was this easy! It's a great way to use up a lot of apples, too.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! I've never made cider before (it always seemed complicated in my imagine) but this definitely makes me want to try. Those apple photos are gorgeous.

    1. Thanks! I know, I totally thought it was going to be a complicated process involving a bunch of equipment and stuff, but it's not! It's crazy how easy it is!

  3. Can you use sliced apples. I only have the Apple corer that slices too