So, for those of you in that camp, I'll tell you that this hot beverage is fantastically delicious and will quickly become a family favorite for special occasions. I make hot cider twice a year. Once on the stove top on Thanksgiving day, and once in the crock pot overnight so it's ready on Christmas morning.
It starts with plain apple juice, is dressed with cider-y flavors of your liking, and ends in an almost cloudy, heart warming sweet drink that everybody adores. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!!
Hot Holiday Cider
Serves many, or a family of four for several days. Cut the recipe in half or a quarter if desired.
One gallon apple juice
2 medium apples, thinly sliced
1 large orange, with peel, thinly sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon fresh shaved nutmeg (or toss in a small chunk of nutmeg from a bag of mulling spices)
Pinch of cardamom seeds
One inch piece of whole vanilla bean, sliced in half lengthwise
Place all together in a large pot on the stove. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for one to two hours until the fruit is translucent and sinks to the bottom of the pot. Serve hot with pieces of fruit. Reduce heat to the lowest setting possible and keep warm on the stove for as long as you want throughout the day. Strain into a container and refrigerate if you don't drink it all in one day.
Place all together in a large crock pot. Set the heat to low. Cook in the crock pot overnight and serve in the morning with pieces of fruit. Keep the heat on the lowest setting possible to keep warm for as long as you want throughout the day. Strain into a container and refrigerate if you don't drink it all in one day.