Homemade apple juice is a delicious treat. You can even make enough to last for a whole year. This apple juice recipe will taste much better, and be more natural than the store-bought kind. Gather the ingredients and your cooking tools and let's get started!
Here's how to make homemade apple juice:
Ingredients and supplies:
- Apples (see recipe)
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Sugar (may not be necessary)
- Large pot with lid
- Colander or sieve
- Filter- cheesecloth, jelly bag, or coffee filters
For canning process:
- Canning jars
- Jar grabber
Select the apples. Don't use just any apples for your apple juice. If you choose apples that are naturally sweet, you won't need to add much sugar. Keep in mind that homemade apple juice has a much stronger flavor than store-bought kinds, which have been pasteurized. These varieties include Red Delicious, Fuji, Gala and Rome. Never use just one variety of apple for your juice- choose a mixture of apples. Make sure that your apples are fully ripe; underripe apples make juice without much flavor. You can make a large quantity of apple juice and then can it, so consider buying by the bushel to save money. A bushel of apples will yield 15 or 16 quarts of juice.
Prepare the apples. Wash the apples, and then core them and chop them. Do not peel them.
Prepare the jars. Wash the jars, and either run them through the dishwasher or boil them for 10 minutes to sterilize them before making apple juice. Keep your jars warm until you're ready to use them; this will keep them from cracking.
Cook the apples. Fill a large pot with water up to 4 inches deep. Then, add the apples. Cover the pot, and turn the stovetop on high. Once the water is boiling well, turn down to medium-high, and continue to cook until the apples are soft all the way through.
Strain the apples. Now you'll need to filter the apples to remove the pulp, skins, seeds, and stems. You can run it through a sieve or colander, or refrigerate for a day and then pour out the liquid, leaving the sediment in the bottom to discard. For filtered apple juice, line your colander or sieve with cheesecloth, coffee filters, or a jelly bag, and let the fresh juice drip through it slowly.
Heat the juice. Heat it on low until you've collected enough juice to fill the jars. Add cinnamon to taste. You should not need to increase the sugar content of apple juice if you've chosen the right varieties of apples, but taste the juice now and add a little sugar if needed.
Can the juice. You do not need to can the juice, but it will last a lot longer if you do. Canned apple juice can be stored for up to a year. Carefully ladle the juice into your canning jars, filling them to within a quarter inch of the top rim, and tighten the lid. To can the juice, place the jar into the canner, covering with at least an inch of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes to seal the jars.
Cool the jars. Lift them out, and let them cool overnight without touching them. Check that they are sealed by pressing in the center of the lid. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used quickly.