What’s Inside: Nothing says Autumn or Winter like homemade apple cider. There’s just something about that aroma that is warm and cozy. But this recipe takes that nostalgia up a notch because it’s made with pears in the Instant Pot. Doesn’t get any simpler than that!
Why You Should Make Your Own Apple Cider this Holiday Season
There are a few drinks that symbolize sweater weather. Of course, there’s hot chocolate, pumpkin spice lattes, and even coquito (Puerto Rican eggnog), but the one that stands out for me is homemade Instant Pot apple cider (but make it +pear).
It brings back feelings of perusing farmers markets, being at home and decorating for holidays with family and friends, ya know… coziness and togetherness — things we’re all craving this season after quite possibly the longest year ever (looking at you, 2020). While we may be staying home a lot more these days and getting creative with the holidays in new ways, we can make some of our favorite meals and drinks at home that bring memories of Thanksgivings and Christmases, Hannukahs, and Winter Solstice Parties past to life.
And the best part is that you can enjoy sipping on nostalgia with none of the worry, because it’s homemade and you know exactly what’s in it. This recipe is made with real ingredients, no junk, and it’s alcohol-free. (I, of course, tend to avoid alcohol because of the havoc it wreaks on my body and the subsequent inflammation with Hashimoto’s, but if you don’t have those issues and wanted to spike your cider with a little splash of bourbon or rum, I am raising a glass to cheers you!)
This homemade Instant Pot apple and pear cider is a surefire way to fill your home with holiday cheer!
And, here’s a side bonus… the aroma in your house after cooking up a fresh pot of this will beat out any “winter spice” candle you can buy (without the toxins). In yo’ face $30 novelty candle!
Key Ingredients for Homemade Instant Pot Apple and Pear Cider
- Apples: You’ll need 4 total, cored and quartered with the peel on. This is vital! You’ll also want to choose your favorite-tasting apple. I like Gala or Honey Crisp.
- Pears: Again, don’t dare peel these babies! You’ll need 3 total, cored and quartered. I like Bartlett or Bosc. The pears give an extra something special to your traditional apple cider and even more fiber to support your digestion.
- Navel orange: Sliced with the skin and rind on. There’s lots of flavor there, so don’t toss the peels! This bright citrus flavor complements the fall flavor and spices well.
- Lemon: Sliced with the skin and rind on. Along with the orange, the lemon adds a burst of fresh flavor and more Vitamin C.
- Spices: Altogether, you’ll use 2 cinnamon sticks, ½ tsp whole cloves, and 3-4 whole star anise. This combination screams fall! If you’re on AIP eliminations, go ahead and skip the star anise, just make it cinnamon and clove.
- Maple syrup or raw honey: This makes the cider sweet, but not overly so, plus it’s much easier than sugar on the body. Just ¼ cup will do the trick! Remember those fruits you added are naturally sweet, too.
- Enough filtered water to cover everything completely.
How To Serve This Apple Cider
This homemade apple and pear cider makes the perfect afternoon treat, after-dinner nightcap, or of course, for the holidays when entertaining! Any of these dishes would pair perfectly with this cider:
Do Yourself a Favor and Get an Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker)
If you’re doing any Black Friday shopping this year or if you’re still working on your Christmas list for Santa, I cannot recommend an Instant Pot highly enough. It’s magic! OK, not really, but it will seem like it. You’ll be able to cook things that would normally take an entire day in a matter of minutes. Plus, I have some great Instant Pot recipes you shouldn’t have to skip!
This homemade apple cider is a great reason to treat yourself to a new kitchen appliance this holiday season. While you can make it on the stovetop and it will turn out delicious, leaving your house smelling like absolute heaven, it will take all. dang. day to accomplish that. With an Instant Pot, however, you’re less than 30 minutes away from achieving that cooked-all-day flavor and filling your home with the aromas of Fall.
Trust me, this gadget lives up to all of the hype!
How to Store Homemade Apple Cider
- To Freeze: Homemade apple cider can be easily frozen! Just pour into moisture vapor-resistant containers and leave about 2-inches of head space for the cider to expand. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months and defrost before serving.
- To Store: It can also be canned using a boiling water bath canner. To do so:
- Place sterilized jars right side up on the rack of a water bath canner.
- Fill the canner and jars with hot (but not boiling) water to 1-inch above the tops of the jars.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- In a separate saucepan, heat your cider until it’s simmering, then pour into hot sterile jars and processing in a boiling water bath (5 minutes for pints and quarts; (10 minutes for half gallons).
But let’s be real. The likelihood of there being leftovers to freeze or can is highly unlikely. Cheers, and drink up!
More Holiday Recipes
If you like this homemade apple cider, then you’ll love these holiday recipes:
- 4 apples cored and quartered with skin on (Gala,Honey Crisp, etc.)
- 3 pears cored and quartered with skin on (Bartlett or Bosc)
- 1 navel orange sliced with skin and rind on
- 1 small lemon sliced with skin and rind on
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ tsp whole cloves
- 3-4 whole star anise (skip for AIP or add another cinnamon stick)
- Enough water to cover everything
- ¼ cup maple syrup or raw honey
Place all fruit into the Instant Pot
Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise over top.
Pour enough filtered water over everything to cover the fruit, lastly mix in your sweetener.
Place your Instant Pot lid on and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow it to naturally release on its own, or do a quick release after 10 minutes.
Mash the fruit with potato masher or wooden spoon to release all the juices.
Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the solids from the liquids into a large mixing bowl or pot. Discard the solids and store cider in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze it. Serve hot!
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