Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Steam Juicing Apples and Pears

At long last I processed the pictures from how I used my steam juicer to juice some apples and pears last month. Two caveats: 1) I'm new to this, and 2) this is about the cheapest, smallest, most tinny-looking steam juicer you can buy. I did not want to invest mightily until I was sure this was going to be worthwhile. I think it is, and at some point I will buy a larger one of stainless steel.

Here are the parts of my steam juicer. 1) Water reservoir. 2) Juice pan with siphon tube. 3) Strainer basket. 4) Lid.
First is the water reservoir. This goes directly on the stove and is filled about 2/3 with water.
The juice pan is next.

It has this little wire clip that I don't trust, having learned the hard way that it doesn't do its job very well.
I direct it down into a Mason jar in the pot holder drawer. :o)
You fill the strainer pan with fresh fruit. Here I mixed tart apples with sweet pears. Wash the fruit and trim away any bad spots, but no need to chop, pit or peel. I cut the apples and pears in half or fourths just because, but you probably wouldn't even need to do that much.
Okay, so, we put the lid on and light the stove. We bring the water to a boil, and when steam starts to escape from around the rim of the lid, we turn it down to a simmer. We steam apples for 90 minutes. Here they are after maybe half an hour. Interestingly, the pears are holding their shape better than the apples. Not what I would have guessed.

If you like your juices clear, just let the fruit steam undisturbed. If you prefer it more unfiltered looking (and I do), stir the fruit every so often to break up the fibrous parts and infuse them into the juice. In fact, I pull off the juice and then run it back through the fruit again because I like a LOT of unfiltered stuff in my juice.
After 90 minutes. Wow! That's what's left. The pears had much less residue than the apples did. I was hoping for more, actually. I love pear sauce.
I forgot to take any pictures of the actual siphoning process, but it's just as well, as I burn myself every time anyway, without worrying about juggling a camera. Anyway, it comes out scalding hot, and if you siphon it directly into sterilized bottles or jars, you have a nice clean environment and don't need to water bath process afterward. Here you can see I appropriated some flip-top beer bottles Barry wasn't using. 
The leftover pulp gets run through a chinois strainer to make applesauce. Or, in this case, apple-pear sauce. That you do have to water-bath process, as by the time it's in the jars, it's well below scalding temperature and has been in contact with numerous preparation surfaces (chinois, bowl, spoon, etc.).
Meanwhile, I'm firing up the steamer again, this time with just pears. Don't forget to replenish the water in the water reservoir. You do not want this thing to cook dry.
And here's the yield from two steamer fulls of first apples and pears, then just pears. If I had used all apples, there would have been more yield. This is where you can see how a larger juicer would make sense, as I used a lot of energy doing this twice when one large steamer could probably have held more than the two loads I did.
My thanks to Judy Laquidara who first introduced me to the idea of steam juicing.


Mrs. Mac said...

Very interesting .. and how is the apple/pear sauce? Is it very flavorful since most of the juice has been steamed out of it? Curious minds want to know ;)

Maria Stahl said...

Oh yeah, it's flavorful. The only thing I didn't much like about the pear sauce is it came out kind of grainy in texture. Not sure why. The applesauce isn't like that.

Catherine said...

Thanks for posting this. So interesting. I learned a lot. Fascinating!

Cody said...

Just ran across your blog. Thank you. I too just purchased a steam juicer, and have one question. How does your pear juice turn out? Mine turned out very mild and seemed somewhat watered down. I am sure it turned out "normal," but i'd love to get some one elses take. Thanks.

Maria Stahl said...

Cody, no, not at all watered down - it had lots of pulp in it. I'm not sure why. :)