Special Needs Children Cook: Hot Mulled Cider

Image shows a Mary Alice Hadley cup filled with mulled cider and garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Hot Mulled Cider for a Cold Autumn Day

Mulled apple cider is a great addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas feasts.  Special Needs Children Cook:  Hot Mulled Cider shows you how to let your special needs child help prepare this delicious drink.  In fact, any child will love making the clove-encrusted orange that goes in it.  Helping with the holiday cooking makes children feel important as well as creating memories.  This recipe is done in two easy steps.  First, your child makes the clove-encrusted orange to put into the juice.  Then, they add the rest of the ingredients and set the cider to cook for an hour or more.

Ingredients and Supplies:

  • 1 gallon of apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • @40 whole cloves
  • 1 large orange
  • Slow cooker (preferred) or large pot for stovetop cooking
  • Wooden skewer
  • Paper towels

Adult:  Use the picture to help you organize the supplies for the first part of the recipe, making the clove-encrusted orange.

Image shows a red tray with a bowl of whole cloves, a large orange resting in a small bowl, a wooden skewer and some paper towels.

Organize the supplies for making the orange this way.

The paper towels are in case your child’s fingers get sticky and that bothers them.  You do not need to have any exact number of cloves in the bowl, but they should all be whole ones with nice straight stems on them.  Put the orange in a small bowl to keep it from rolling around and to let your child use both hands for their work.  The wooden skewer does have a sharp point, but you really need that to poke holes in the orange skin.  I wouldn’t blunt it.

Child:  Click on the pictures to see how to put cloves into the orange so you can cook the cider.  You can make any pattern you like when you are poking holes in the orange.  You don’t have to use all the cloves if you don’t want to.

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Adult:  Once the orange is ready, it’s time to put the whole recipe together and put it on to cook.  Here is your set up picture.

Image shows a red tray with a gallon of apple juice, a cup of orange juice, a clove-encrusted orange resting in a small bowl, a small bowl with two sticks of cinnamon in it, and some paper towels. The tray is next to a large ceramic pot.

Organize the supplies for the second part of the recipe like this.

The recipe calls for a gallon of apple juice or cider, any variety.  I show a whole gallon in one container, because my daughter could handle that.  If you need to put it into several small containers so that your child can pour it by themselves, by all means do so.  You can also just help them pour the big container.  I have put a tea towel underneath the ceramic pot to keep it from sliding unexpectedly while your child is working.  Ceramic or enamel-coated pots work better for acidic recipes like cider, but they can be damaged if dropped.

Child:  Click on the pictures to get the cider ready for cooking.

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Your cider is now ready for cooking.  If you are going to put it in a slow cooker, set it on high for at least two hours.  If you are doing it on a stove, cook the cider on low for at least one hour.  You don’t want it to be boiling, just simmering.  The longer you cook this, the more spiced it will be, so do not leave it cooking indefinitely unless you take the orange out.

Image shows a white ceramic pot with mulled cider and a clove-encrusted orange floating in it.

The mulled cider is all cooked!

You do not want to store it with the orange or cinnamon sticks still in it either.  Remove the spices and you can store it in the refrigerator for a week.   It is best served hot, of course.

I hope you enjoyed Special Needs Children Cook:  Hot Mulled Cider.  I serve this every year when I get the chance and my children always like making the orange best.  It looks great in my Mary Alice Hadley cups.  Happy Holidays!

© 2013, Margaret. All rights reserved.

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