First, wash well the fruits, do not peel the apples and pears, the skin adds more flavor.
Cut apples, pears, and both oranges into quarters. Don't worry about removing seeds or stems.
Add the fruits to the slow cooker (I used an InstantPot).
Add the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, extra orange peel, and star anise. Cover with water, filling the slow cooker until it is almost full.
If you have an InstantPot select the Slow Cooker function and program it for 4 hours.
If you have a regular slow cooker, cook it on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
In both options, after 4 hours of cooking, open the slow cooker, mash the fruits, stir well and return to cooking for one extra hour on high or 2 hours on low.
Once cooked, using a fine mesh strainer, strain out the apple cider juice and transfer it into a pitcher. Stir in your desired amount of sugar until it is dissolved while the cider is still hot, taste and adjust the amount of sweetness based on your preference.
The cider should be stored in a closed container and can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Rewarm the cider before serving.