Thanks for all of your love and support. We are still at my in-laws but I have had this little beauty in the archives waiting for you. Happy Saturday to you…
As I mentioned before we had a bumper crop of cherries this year. I dried some, made preserves and jelly with others, but still had gallons and gallons left. An easy way to use all the cherries was to juice them. There is very little work involved with steam juicing; you don’t even have to remove the pit! The juicer is totally worth the monetary investment if you own a cherry tree or grape vines.
I first used a steam juicer a few years ago when I borrowed one from a friend to make grape juice. I’ve used hers for years and now that we’ve moved hours from her, it was time to buy one of my own.
If you’ve never seen or used one, then I’ll enlighten you. They are amazing things that are easy to use, clean, and a great way to use lots of fruit.
We bought a Victoria steam juicer for around $70 from Ace Hardware (I know IFA and other places that sell canning supplies have them). You can buy the same thing in stainless steel but it costs about four times as much. We went with the cheaper and I’ll let you know what I think (my friend’s juicer was aluminum and she had success with it for years). My father-in-law just bought the stainless steel one though, so I’ll try it and see if it really is that much better.
Here is what it looks like:
And this explains how it works. Boiling water on the bottom comes up through a hole and then goes through lots of little holes in the basket the fruit sits in. The steam releases the juice that collects (where #3 is pointed) and it runs out a tube.
Grandma’s Bing (red) and Queen Anne (pink) cherries ready to juice.
Fresh hot cherry juice collecting in a pot.
Homemade Cherry Juice
Lots of cherries
Get the steam juicer washed and set up according to instructions. Fill the hopper with your cherries. If you are using more than one type, mix them as you add them. Let them steam for an hour, making sure the bottom doesn’t run out of water. The hopper full of cherries produces about four quarts of juice. If you have more cherries to do, throw out (compost) the steamed cherries before doing your next batch.
Process the juice in a hot water bath for 15 minutes (four quarts) for us high elevations and 10 minutes for you low-lyers.
Canning is so fun, rewarding, cost savvy, and messy! If you are new to it, get a book! I recommend the Ball Blue Book; it is an all-inclusive master on the topic and only costs about $6. It’s not hard to learn and most old people that you know will be more than willing to let you borrow some of their supplies if you want to try it out. This post isn’t all you need to can the juice, but the library will have all that info so go find it!
Sugar can be added to the juice to make it sweeter; just do that to taste.
I used the juice for jelly and cherry syrup! Recipes to come.
This juice is so good with lemon-lime pop (just when we are splurging).