My first request for a recipe from a reader! How exciting! O.K., so it was my brother–Thank you Jay, for being supportive. Hopefully you are only the first of many more to come. I think that you speak for many people with you question regarding how to make homemade hot cider, and I think that you will be surprised at how quick and easy this recipe is to make. You can make a double or triple batch, store it in the refrigerator, and reheat as needed. This would be great to have on hand for visitors over the holidays along with the Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Doughnuts (recipe from November 2). A few tips:
- If you have time, you can put all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and heat the mixture over low for 3-4 hours. The longer the cider simmers, the deeper the flavor will be, and your home will smell wonderful.
- For the orange rind, the best tool to use is a carrot or vegetable peeler. Firmly grasp the orange and peel towards yourself to get the 2-inch pieces.
- Serve with a cinnamon stick for presentation.
Orange-Spiced Hot Cider
Makes 2 quarts (6-8 servings)
2 quarts apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 two-inch strips of orange rind (about 1 inch wide)
In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Strain the mixture and serve hot.