The Best Slow Cooker Mulled Cider

Warm, spiced and sweet, mulled cider is comfort in a cup. Today we bring you a slow cooked version that you can make and enjoy effortlessly.

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Cider is perfect for mulling slowly in a corner of the kitchen all day long during the chillier months, filling your kitchen with a spicy, cinnamon-y, aroma. However, we know you don't have time to stand in front of the stove and to stir and babysit a pot, especially when you are entertaining drop-in guests. Enter the slow cooker: The way to keep the cider warm in the background while you move on with your life.

As with other slow cooker recipes, once you prep the ingredients, your work is done and the cooker takes over, letting you enjoy hot and fragrant cider all day long. Whenever a new visitor knocks, let the sweet perfume beckon them into the kitchen and dip in for a mug.

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Unlike more aggressively spiced ciders, the apple stays front and center here, just accented by crisp pear, citrus, ginger, and warm spices.

Delicately Fragrant Mulled Cider

Serves a crowd

1 pear, not too soft; bosc highly recommended
1 orange
1-2 tablespoon whole cloves
1 lemon
3-5 whole allspice berries
3-5 inches peeled fresh ginger root, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium stick of cinnamon
2-3 gallons apple cider

1. You know your slow cooker best: get this started in time to allow at least a half hour of simmering.

2. Stud the pear and orange with cloves.

3. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, peel large pieces of rind from the lemon, trying to avoid the white pith. Give each piece a little twist to release some of the lemon oil.

4. Put fruits and spices in your slow cooker, pour a gallon of cider over it all, and put it on high heat for a few hours, allowing for at least half an hour at a full simmer. As you drink the cider, top it off every now and then with new cider -- the mixture can keep mulling and spicing all day.

Save and print the full recipe on Food52.

Photos by James Ransom