Have you ever heard of mouth hallucinations…? Wait. Who am I kidding? Of course you haven’t. I just coined this term yesterday. Let’s start over. Mouth hallucinations are basically exactly what they sound like. A hallucination… In your mouth. Like when you get a really strong craving for something. And the craving is so intense that you can literally taste it. “Mouth hallucinations.” They’re real.
Before I left for work yesterday I threw a bunch of apples, a couple of oranges, and some warm spices in my crockpot. I covered it all with water, cranked it up, threw the lid on, and went on about my day. I really had no idea if this would work. But I hoped, I prayed, that when I got home from work there would be delicious homemade apple cider waiting for me.
Throughout the day I dreamed of the cider. I could smell it. Taste it. Feel its warmth. (this is when I coined the term “mouth hallucinations.”) And I couldn’t wait to get home to sip on some. But by the end of the work day my mind was filled with a billion other things that I needed to accomplish before the end of the week and hot apple cider was the last thing I was thinking about.
Fast forward to the moment I stepped foot inside my apartment building. Now granted we live in a fairly small building, but the second I started down the hall to our place the smell of apples and spices smacked me in the face. It smelled incredible. I couldn’t get inside fast enough. First I sampled some all by itself. Amazing. Then I added some bourbon. Amazing. Then I put some in the fridge to chill to have for breakfast this morning. Amazing. Then I re-heated some to take to work. Ah-maz-ing. Mouth hallucination meet reality. I will never buy pre-made cider again. I now have 2 1/2 liters of the stuff (scratch that, I’ve gulped down at least a liter already) in my fridge. The next few evenings will be filled with cidery goodness. This sparkling wassail will
probably most definitely be made with it as well!
- 6 quart slow cooker (reduce the amounts for a smaller cooker)
- 12 medium size sweet apples (fuji, honeyscrisp, gala… best to use a variety)
- 2 oranges
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 TBSP whole cloves
- 1 TBSP whole allspice
- 2 inch knob of fresh ginger (optional)
- up to 1 cup of brown sugar (optional. I didn’t put any sugar in mine and it is delicious! but if you are used to a more sweet cider, add sugar as desired.)
- Chop apples and oranges into large chunks
- Put apples, oranges, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, and sugar (if using) in the slow cooker.
- Fill the slow cooker with enough water to cover all of the apples. It should fill it pretty much to the brim of the pot.
- Turn it on high and put the lid on.
- Allow to brew for 8-12 hours. (12 hours is best and even longer would be fine too!)
- You can serve directly out of the slow cooker skimming the cider off the top and leaving the fruit in the pot. You can also strain the cider and discard the fruit and put the cider back in the crockpot. There will be some pulp left in the cider. If you prefer a very clear cider strain into a cheese cloth.
- Store left over cider in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Makes a little over a half galllon.