Apple Juice

When I canned apples and apple pie filling this summer, I froze the apple peels and cores. When fall came and my freezer was so full that going shopping meant a stressful session of trying to fit new things into not enough space, I pulled out all the quart-size bags I could find and made apple juice.

The juice will be used to make jelly, not for drinking; I suppose that if I added sugar it would be drinkable but I haven't tried it. We don't eat a lot of jelly on toast; most of the apple jelly ends up in sauces and glazes for chicken, pork, and such. Our favorite use is in dump chicken; the original recipe called for peach or apricot jam, but it is delicious using apple jelly instead.

I dumped four quart-size freezer bags of apple cores and peels into a stockpot and added three quarts of water, then let it simmer for an hour or two. It turned out to be a beautiful fall day, on the warm side, and the house got pretty hot. When it had simmered long enough, I let it cool for awhile, then strained the solids out with a muslin jelly bag.

I then simmered the juice awhile longer, since it tasted kind of thin. I ran the juice through the jelly bag a second time, and ended up with almost two quarts of juice, and a half-cupful of what looked like thick applesauce. I added the applesauce to the goats' feed the next morning, and gave the cooked peels/cores to the chickens.

As you can see, these two jars are different colors. The pink juice was made a week earlier, using the same method, from apples from our own trees. The juice that looks like commercial apple juice was made from a combination of our apples and the apples from my neighbor's trees. I need to run the pink juice through the jelly bag again to remove the sediment before I make jelly from it. The two batches yielded almost two quarts of juice each, so I ended up with almost four quarts of juice to use in making jelly. All of this came from just peels and cores that most people throw away.

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For another use for apple peels, go to Dehydrate 2 Store and choose the video "Apples, Apples, Apples". Tammy throws out the cores though.

Here is a recipe for making apple jelly without using pectin.

This post first appeared on on November 9, 2009

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