Caramel Apple Cider

It’s fall! It felt more like it last week than it does now, but it will get back to the cool weather in the mornings and the evenings.

I had a meeting with my current co-workers, before I worked with them, at Greenberries. I didn’t want to be the person who didn’t get anything, so I got a Caramel Apple Cider. It sounded good enough to try…I loved it! It was a tad sweeter than I was expecting, but it was still very yummy. So, I set out to find a recipe for it!
The best one I found was from the Our Best Bites blog. It was a little difficult to find all the directions in one place, so I will put them here. Again, this is all from their blog!

1/2 gallon apple cider (64 oz or 8 C)
1/2 C orange juice, fresh squeezed or good quality bottled like Simply Orange
1 orange
8 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (if yours are more than a year old- buy new ones!!)
1/4 t ground allspice
1/3 C jarred caramel sauce* more to taste if needed
optional: caramel flavored syrup
sweetened whipped cream (or from a can is fine!)
*For a delicious twist, substitute maple syrup for the caramel sauce in this recipe.

 Begin by pouring 8 C of apple cider into a large stock pot on the stove pot. Set heat to medium-high. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks, and allspice.

Thoroughly wash your orange and then gently stab the whole cloves into it. If you find it hard to do that without destroying the cloves, use a toothpick to poke little hole first and then insert the cloves.

Gently drop the whole orange into the pot. Bring cider to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer on low for 60 minutes and longer if you wish. If you’re keeping the pot on the stove for an extended period, keep an eye on the orange. If at any time it splits open, remove it from the pot.

…and now that I look at the blog again, there’s a printable recipe at the bottom of the page! So, go there and print it!

This turned out great! Sean loved it and I love it!

Couple notes from me:

  • Unless doubling, don’t use a huge pot. The orange just sat on the bottom since there wasn’t enough liquid in the big pot I used.
  • Use Simply Orange. Just make life easier. Though, I would get pulp free.
  • I got my apple cider from Friendly City Food Coop. Aside from it being across the street, they have LOCAL cider from Shenandoah County!
  • Use fresh as best you can. Again, I went to Friendly City for the spices. They are in bulk so I literally bought 8 cloves and a 1/4 teaspoon of allspice…and I think they are all organic too.
  • It will boil down a bit, so keep that in mind when serving for a crowd. I believe I finished with about 1.5 cups shy of 2 quarts.
  • I used the small ball type caramel bits from the baking isle. It will take a little longer to melt, but not much. I did this because I compared the nutritional information and these were better.
  • There’s a link in the recipe for sweetened whipped cream. If you have a bullet, you have it made! Stick the little cup in the freezer for a bit, put a little bit of heavy whipping cream in, add powdered sugar, and blend! In the picture, mine is homemade. That’s why it’s not all pretty.
  • Lastly, for anyone curious about the mug, it’s from Cancun. One of the ONLY good things from that trip!
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