Slice apples in quarters. Remove the apple core and seeds and roughly chop. You could even just roughly chop and leave the seeds and the core, if you do not plan on using the apple puree for any other recipes.
Remove the orange peel from the oranges and roughly chop. It is important to also remove the pith (the white part next to the rind) from oranges as when this cooks, the pith can become bitter.
Place the prepared apples and oranges in the instant pot. In addition, add the fresh or dried ginger, maple syrup or sweetener of choice, cinnamon twills or ground cinnamon, Star Anise or 5 Spice powder, pomegranate seeds, cloves, nutmeg, and enough water to cover the apples. (Pomegranate seeds are optional)
Seal and set your instant pot (pressure cooker) on high pressure for 15 minutes and let it naturally release for about 10-15 minutes and then carefully release. You can also just leave it naturally release completely if you wish. Please note that it can take up to 30 minutes for the temperature of the instant pot to pressurize.
Remove any whole spices and then mash the spiced apple mixture.
The best method for straining apple cider is to first pour your apple cider mixture through a regular colander to grab the big portions off fruit. You can pitch the parts of fruit that the colander caught as it is mostly the apple skins and things you do not want.
Then, we take the strained prized spiced cider juice and little by little add it through a fine meshed strainer (or cheesecloth) and strain to give you a clearer beverage. Check out our video to see how we did this.
Enjoy mulled apple cider hot or iced. We like to garnish with apple slices, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise and pomegranate seeds. For the adults, add a shot of your favorite whiskey, rum, fireball, or favorite alcoholic drink as desired.