Monday, 11 August 2014

Making apple juice at home

During years of over abundance one of the best ways of utilizing this extra bounty bis to prepare bottles of nectar like apple juice. An invaluable addition to the store cupboard, and readily taken up by family and friends or use as gifts.
The first stage of apple juicing is to reduce the apples to a pulp. There are two easy methods of achieving this. The first involves quartering the apples roughly and putting them through a blender. The second involves quartering and freezing the fruit. This breaks down the internal structure and, once brought out and de-frosted, they can be pulped quite easily by hand.
Next the pulp must be squeezed to extract the juice. Again 2 easy methods are available.
The first is suitable only if you want to do smaller quantities. You can squeeze by hand through a funnel into your prepared and sterilized bottles.
For larger quantities, and if as is likely you want to continue to go juicing each autumn, you would be wise to invest in a fruit press. A new apple press will set you back £100 or so which might get you reaching automatically for the marigold gloves and a bit of a work out to do it by hand. But if you are lucky in that you have several mature heavily fruiting apple trees then a press would be a good investment and should of course last for many years plus it is an enjoyable pastime to be looked forward too.
Another enjoyable aspect of apple juicing is that you can experiment and have fun blending different types and varieties. You can blend apples, but also blend with pear juice, redcucrant, blackcurrant or elderberry juice.
All varieties of apple are suitable for juicing but some will yield more than others. Most should give at least half their weight in juice. The juice itself is usually sweeter tasting and even Bramleys are used for juicing and ideal if you like slightly sharper tasting things.
Other varieties that are often used for juicing include Spartan, [sweet] James Grieve, [sharp] Egremont Russet [nutty] and Cox’s Orange Pippin [full bodied]
The bottles used to take the juice should be thoroughly clean and well sealed afterwards.
Sugar can be added to taste, if desired, and helps preserve the juice which should be kept as cool as possible after preparation and bottling.

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