Did you know you can turn so-called “nuisance” fruit into delicious 100% juice? Yes, those plums that litter your patio in the summer, the crabapples and sour cherries that are too tart to eat, wormy apples (trimmed, of course!), excess grapes, tomatoes, seedy blackberries, and more all qualify! You do need a specific piece of equipment: a Steam Juice Extractor. It is readily available at many stores that carry food preservation equipment, such as Bi-Mart, Grange Co-op, and Blackbird in Oregon. The one I have is made by Back to Basics and is stainless steel. My husband Sam gave it to me for my birthday and I love it! I often ask for specialty pieces of garden and kitchen equipment for holiday gifts.
|The Steam Juice Extractor, a marvelous tool.|
|Begin with fruit. These tiny crabapples are hard and quite sour.
Added to blander fruit they will add an acidic note of flavor.
|Consider combining fruit. These French plums are bland and
uninteresting. They are too small to bother using in other preserves.
|1. Water is added to the bottom reservoir to create steam.|
|2. Most fruit are added whole to the Steam Juice Extractor. Because
these crabapples are so hard, they benefit from being roughly
chopped before juicing. I enclosed them in a muslin bag to corral
the tiny seeds and bits of chaff.
|3. I placed the muslin bag of crabapples in the bottom of the perforated
fruit basket section and gave them a 30 minute head start in the steam.
Then I piled in as many plums as would fit, covered the pot, and let
them steam over simmering water until juices were released.
|4. Creatively find a way to place a receptacle container
lower than the steam juice extractor so that gravity
will force juice to flow.
|5. Juice is collecting in the clamped tubing. Sterilized quart jars are
filled. I usually get 4 1/2 quarts juice per batch of most types of fruit.
|6. The hot juice is processed in a water bath canner for 10 minutes
to ensure safe storage on my pantry shelf.
|Jewel-tone colors of home preserved fruit juice and cider. These
will be enjoyed in Fizzy Fruit Sodas and/or heated as a warming
|Heated Crab-apple Plum Cider|
|Fizzy Fruit Sodas! YUMMY!