Spiced Apple Cider– fresh, sweet and tart apples, cooked with sugar and warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and ginger, strained through a sieve a few times to get a warm clear cider that can warm up your soul on a cold winter night. It’s like having apple pie… in a mug!
My kids don’t really like a whole lot of sweet beverages. But, Apple cider is an exception. In summers, they love a sparkling apple cider, and, in winters, this is their favorite recipe to make with me. They absolutely love fresh warm Spiced Apple Cider. The big bonus is, that the day we make it, the whole house smells like a giant apple pie, who can complain about that now! Can you tell how much we like apple pie 🙂
Making this Spiced Apple Cider is a breeze, or as my kids like to say, “it’s what you get when the sweet and tart apples hang out with the warm spices”. I use Pink Lady or Gala apples for the sweetness, and the Granny Smith apples give it a slight tart bite. The cinnamon, cloves, and ginger give it the warmth, almost as if you were curled up by the fireplace!
It is pretty easy to double-up this recipe and make it in large batches, which makes it perfect for serving during big get-togethers.
I used to make this Spiced Apple Cider on the stove-top till I got my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. The great part about making it in the Instant Pot is that you can keep it warm for your guests by turning on the ‘Keep Warm’ mode.
Smart tip: Don’t discard the pulp you get after straining the cider for the second time. We use that pulp to make Apple Spice Pancakes or in a Apple Spice cake and the flavors are amazing. You see how this recipe is quite a win-win! Try it- this may become your favorite family holiday beverage to make- it is ours for sure!
Fall is my favorite season of the year. The pleasant breeze, leaves changing color, salads giving way to soups, ice-creams making way for pies and cobblers! It’s also the beginning of Pumpkin season. You can start seeing pumpkins of all shapes and sizes widely available everywhere. I love cooking and baking with pumpkin and I am always looking for new ways to use pumpkin in sweet and savory dishes. One thing I love doing around holidays is to create recipes that are quick to please and can be made ahead of time. Seems like I’ve hit a home-run in my house with this recipe- Pumpkin Spice Cornbread!
Earthy and sweet cornbread mix meets creamy and moist homemade pumpkin puree– the result is a soft, moist and delicious Pumpkin Spice Cornbread. This holiday season, I am jazzing up a tried and trusted store-bought cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s, that I have been using for years. This cornbread will make a great addition to your table. Enjoy it as-is or make stuffing with it. Pair it with honey butter or pumpkin butter and enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee for a delicious and light snack.
Cooking Cornbread in an Instant Pot
In the video here, I have made this Pumpkin Spice Cornbread in my electric pressure cooker- The Instant Pot DUO. It cooked in about the same time as the oven, was missing the crisp golden outer layer. BUT, pressure cooking made this cornbread really really moist. I like making mini loaves of cornbread using the disposable Mini Loaf Baking Pans. I prefer the portion size of the slices- prevents me from over-indulging 🙂 Plus, makes for cute gifts for the holiday basket. From one 15 oz. box of cornbread mix, I can make four mini loaves. I typically half the mix and make two different flavors out of it.
You can use this recipe and make Pumpkin Spice Muffins too, it will be a great side for your breakfast or brunch table. They are perfect for taking to office potlucks too. The second flavor I made over the weekend was another huge success in my house- Cranberry Orange Cornbread. If you want to stick to one flavor, simply double up the ingredients in this recipe.
These Pumpkin Spice Cornbread loaves can be made in the oven too. Simply mix everything as per the directions and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-14 minutes. The actual time will depend on your oven. At the 12 minute mark, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, you’re good, else, pop-it back for another minute or two.
Melt butter in the microwave, about 20-30 seconds. Add egg, pumpkin puree, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together. Add cornbread mix and mix with a spatula.
Grease mini-baking loaf pans with any baking/cooking spray. Divide the better equally between two Mini Loaf Pans.
Pour 1 cup water in the Inner pot of your Instant Pot (I used the DUO 6 Qt). Place trivet. Place two loaf pans on top. If you're doubling up the recipe, you can stack two more on top as shown in the video.
Close lid. Set valve to Sealing. Press Manual for 12 minutes. Open lid after natural pressure release. Cool cornbread for 5 -10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with honey butter!