This year by all accounts; despite, or indeed because of, the cold start to the year, has been a great year for apples on the plot. Indeed around the country, wherever I’ve been, there has been apple trees laden with fruit. The fruit trees planted on road verges often tempt me to pull over and pick their bounty.
However, the two trees on my plot are providing us with enough apples to keep the family in an apple a day each. We also drink a bit of fruit juice though. So it got me thinking. Could we use our own apples to make our own apple juice? The answer seems to be yes. We live near to the National Collection of Cider andrry and they offer a juicing service during the later summer and autumn. For 63p a litre you can get your crop juiced while you wait (booking needed). Once crushed using a shredder type machine, they put the pulp into a press and squeeze out the juice. In our case, we have ‘Beauty of Bath’ apples, the juice that came out was pinkish in colour and as my son said “tasted just like the apples”.I suppose that’s the point. Unlike bought juice, we know exactly what goes into this juice – just apples!
Well actually, I discovered that in order to prolong the life of my delicious juice, I needed to add citric acid to ensure that the juice didn’t go brown. Teamed with a home pasteurisation process, borrowed from The Cider Workshop, I now have bottles of apple juice which should keep for longer than a few days and not ferment and produce cider. An alternative is to freeze it, but we didn’t have much space in our small freezer. We needed an alternative. Hopefully, my amateur pasteurisation will be a success and not an explosive failure.