Apple juice is not only a refreshing drink, but it is also an ingredient used in many other recipes, including apple jelly. Using a steamer juicer is a great way to harvest the apple juice and make an apple pulp byproduct to use for making apple butter. Another favorite! If you need to know how to make Apple Butter take a look at our apple butter posts. To make the juice just follow the directions below.
Preparation Equipment and Supplies:
Begin by preparing to juice your apples. Heat clean jars in the oven at 250 degrees. Place lids in simmering water on the stove. Fill your boiling water bath canner high enough to cover 6 quart-sized jars. Place the water bath on medium heat to warm up. Fill the bottom of your steam juicer with water and start heating the water on medium heat as well.
Peel, core, and slice your apples.
Since we are planning on using the leftover pulp from the apples to make apple butter we will peel, core, and slice our apples. If you are only planning on using the juice and throwing out the apple pulp you could just quarter the apples. 24 pounds of apples should make about 6 quarts of juice.
How to Make Apple Juice with a Steam Juicer:
Place the apple slices in the top basket of the juicer and turn the heat up to high. Continue to check the water level in the bottom as you do not want to burn your pan. You may need to add water to complete the juicing process. Over the course of 1 to 2 hours, the juice will collect in the middle portion of the juicer. Periodically check to make sure the juice does not overflow the center “hole”.
I like to use a stool as my working surface because it is a good height below the level of the stove to allow gravity to drain the apple juice from my steam juicer into my container. Place something like a wood cutting board or a folded cloth on the stool to protect it from the heat and sticky messes that are inevitably made.
Heat juice to 190 Fahrenheit.
After the apple juice has collected in the middle portion of the steam juicer I strain it into a heat-resistant container. If I am making only one batch I pour the hot apple juice directly into my hot jars from the oven. This saves time and effort of reheating the juice later. If I am doing multiple batches or it is a byproduct of another recipe then I just collect the apple juice until the end of my canning session. At that point, I heat the juice up to 190 degrees and maintain it there for 5 minutes.
Fill your hot jars to 1/4-inch headspace.
Processing Apple Juice:
After your jars are filled, place the lid and ring on fingertip tight and place them in the boiling water bath. Process for 10 minutes if at sea level. (Adjust the processing time if you are above 1000 feet.)
Processing of apple juice complete.