This quick and easy homemade cider is the ultimate cosy recipe to keep you warm on Guy Fawkes night, or on any other night for that matter. I love to sip it by the fire with a good book, or dance around the bonfire, mug of cider in hand.
As the nights draw in and the temperatures begin to drop, it’s a real treat to spend some time by the stove, filling your kitchen with the inviting aroma of mulled drinks. It’s an autumnal tradition of mine to make mulled cider every year, and this autumn I decided to add some Firefolk Tea to the mix. It was so delicious I knew I had to share the recipe with you!
Comforting Firefolk Tea meets fresh apples and other warming spices for this alcohol-free winter warmer. What we are essentially making is a fresh apple juice, gently heated with spices to make a delicious brew. You could jazz up your cider with some spirits too, and this tastes exceptionally delicious with a generous (or modest) pour of whiskey.
I love using my tea blends in recipes, they add such a lovely depth of flavour to whatever I’m making, whether that be baking cookies or mixing cocktails. Firefolk Tea adds a beautiful colour and tangy, sweet spiciness to this cider. And if you don’t have any Firefolk to hand, don’t worry, it will still be delicious.
My partner’s mum has had an apple tree for years, which produced these absolutely huge apples this year! I don’t know the variety, but they are sweet and full of flavour, probably one of the best apples I’ve tasted actually. If you’d like to pick your own, there are often apple trees growing around cities and towns, with so much fruit going to waste every year. There’s even a couple of apple trees growing in the woods behind my home, and of course there’s trusty supermarket apples too.
- 3 huge sweet apples (amounts to around 4-6 medium sized apples)
- 6 granny smith apples
- juice of one orange
- 1/2 cup Firefolk Tea
- 7 cloves
Optional extras: hogweed seeds, nutmeg, star anise. I used what I had to hand. If you don’t have Firefolk, add 4 cinnamon sticks and an inch-sized piece of fresh ginger instead.
In hindsight, I might have bundled all the spices into a cheesecloth bag to infuse into the cider that way, because when you strain your cider you are left with a gorgeous pink apple purée, delicious eaten with a spoon or used as a substitute for eggs in vegan baking. If you don’t want to bag up your spices you can just compost everything later.
- Chop the apples into quarters and add everything into a large pan, cover with about 2 inches of water then bring to a boil, once boiling reduce to a simmer and cook on low for 2 hours.
- Strain your cider, add sweetener if desired, serve warm and enjoy! Since half my apples were quite sweet, I found no need to add any additional sugar. You can taste your cider to see what you think, and if you’d like it to be sweeter, add up to 1/2 cup brown sugar, stirring to dissolve while the cider’s still hot.
- This will keep in the fridge for a few days. I like to add whiskey each time I reheat some, taking care to simmer gently. Serve with a dried apple slice, slice of orange and star anise on the rim of the glass if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Cosy and comforting Firefolk Tea available here. If you're reading this recipe around Bonfire Night, the mid-November restock date will be announced soon!
I hope you liked this recipe! Please do tag me if you make this mulled cider, I love seeing your creations.