Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making and Canning Crab Apple Juice

Sense of Home Kitchen

My parent's apple trees did not produce well this year, perhaps a late frost damaged the blossoms, so we were not able to make our usual apple juice, however, we were able to obtain a large number (this is about half) of crab apples and the juice is just as tasty.  This left the few apples I got to be used to make an apple pie and can applesauce, which I love to eat mixed with plain yogurt for breakfast.

This is the steam juicer I use and it works great for making and canning juice, very simple to use.  If it ever wears out and I need to purchase another I will go with this stainless steel steam juicer.  The washed apples go in the strainer at the top, with these small apples I did not even cut them.  There is no need to core either.  Just wash throw them in the top, fill the bottom container with water and heat.  The steam does the work and the juice lands in the middle section, ready to fill sterilized jars.  Once the jars are filled with the scalding hot juice I place a lid and ring on the top and within minutes I hear that familiar ping, meaning my jars have sealed.  If I had a cold press juicer I would heat the finished juice to a simmer, ladle the steaming liquid into prepared jars and place the lids and rings on top.  They seal themselves and there is no need to process in a water bath or pressure canner.

Usually I put about 1/2 cup of sugar in the top with the apples and I get about 2 1/2 quarts juice.  I found that even though the apples I was using were crab apples I did not need more sugar, we prefer our juice a little tart rather than too sweet.  The crab apples made beautiful juice that is full of flavor.  I mixed the juice with a little water when we were ready to drink it since the flavor is so concentrated, stretching the 32 quarts of juice the apples produced enough to, I expect, provide us with juice for an entire year.  This week I will be making and canning chicken stock.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Homemade Living / Kitchen and Pantry