Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Easy Apple Juice: Seasonal Recipe


Do you have a glut of apples this year like I do? You don't have a juicer or press to hoover up those windfalls either? Then my timely discovery of a way to make easy apple juice, just might be the thing for you to try.
I was going to adapt the Family 'Beena recipe in my Preserves bible to make some apple cordial to use in my drinks bottle for choir. However, a tasting at the sieved juice stage to gauge how much sugar I'd need was enough to persuade me that actually I could use it as is, so long as we drank it straight away.

Ingredients
  • 2kg eating apples
  • 1.2 litres water
Method
  1. De-stem and roughly chop the apples (no need to peel), discarding any damaged parts of the fruit (I'm assuming there's not too much damage to yours, else you may need to adjust the amount of water used)
  2. Place in a large pan and add the water
  3. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes, crushing the fruit with a potato masher or large spoon from time to time
  4. Remove from the heat and perform a final crushing of the fruit to maximise the release of juices - you should have a mush at this point which resembles apple sauce + peel
  5. Set up a (scalded) jelly bag and stand over a large, clean bowl (or use the upturned stool method) and add all the apple
  6. Leave to drain overnight
  7. Decant the liquid into sterilised bottles and compost the apple residue
  8. When cool store the juice in the fridge - you should have around 1 litre
  9. Drink within 2-3 days
You'll find the result is a cloudy juice, that's very pleasant to drink. It's pinkish in the picture because I used a large number of Scrumptious (red skin, pink tinted flesh) and Jupiter (red skin) fruit. I was shocked at the amount of sugar added to some shop-bought juices revealed on Channel 4's Food: What Goes in Your Basket? recently, so it's good to know there's just natural fruit sugars in mine. You could also press down on the fruit with a weight to extract even more juice, but I felt my jelly bag setup was a little flimsy for this. Besides, I don't think it would have yielded very much more.
You could also store the juice for longer by sterilising the bottles in a water bath after step 7. However, I don't think it's worth this extra step for the amount of juice obtained. If you have much more fruit than I did, then it would be worth investigating buying a juicer or press as these will be more efficient at juice extraction. These methods would also preserve more of the vitamins etc. in the juice, some of which I've probably destroyed during the simmering process.
NB This post is to celebrate the 21st year of Apple Day. The link has details of all activities in the UK many of which are yet to be held, so it's worth checking out what's on in your area. Worth considering for the upcoming half term perhaps?

6 comments:

  1. A juicer is very easy and delightful to use. You should definitly try it.

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  2. I would think this would freeze very easily, as we used to do that with excess apple cider when we had an orchard.

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  3. Meredehuit - welcome! Thanks - it'll only be worth buying one if we continue to get lots of apples. This year's harvest is exceptional.

    Gardenbren - hello! My friend B from choir does exactly that with her juice. I'm sure I could do that with this recipe if I had more than a litre to drink :)

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  4. Hi VP, I still have loads of apples left, so I think I'll get my juicer out - I totally forgot about its existence *blush*. Thanks for the tip! :)

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  5. I am newly addicted to sweet cider and I cannot wait to plant some apple trees of my own.

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  6. Una Bee - welcome and thanks for Following :) if this kind of glut continues, I think I'll need to invest in one

    Limette - hello! I wish I had room for some more apple trees, I love them!

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