Step-by-step: Make your own apple juice

There's little that can beat the taste of homemade apple juice, so turn a glut into a goldmine, with a spot of home juicing.

Step-by-step: Make your own apple juice
  • All varieties of apple can be used for juicing, but it's best to use a combination of sharp cooking apples and eating apples to give a balanced flavour. Wash, core and cut them up – check for pests and disease and discard those that look unpalatable!
  • Even a dwarf tree will provide some 4–8 litres of juice over the season, and as a rule of thumb a shopping bag of apples will give you roughly 1 litre of apple juice.
  • You'll need to crush your harvest into small pieces (this is called the pomace). Most apple presses will come with a 'scratter', which crushes them for you – but if you don't have one, you can freeze the apple pieces and pound them with a wooden post in a bucket.
  • Next, press your pomace. If you're planning for a few bottles, a kitchen juicer will do the job, but if you have a big harvest (and want to make more than 50 litres) you'll need to invest in an apple press. Ensure you sterilise bottles before filling, and drink the juice within 2–3 days, or freeze for later.

Buy it
Go for a cheap and cheerful stainless-steel presser (around £100 at Amazon
or www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk), or a pretty and practical crossbeam fruit
press with beach staves and winding handle (www.harrodhorticultural.com;
www.henandhammock.co.uk).

Top tips
Keep tasting the juice as you press, so you can be sure you've got the flavour right – and add in more cookers or eaters depending on your taste. If
pressing, you can compost the dry pomace or freeze it to use in baking.

Dig in
Try adding your 'home brew' to cocktails. Fill a glass with ice and pour in
25ml gin and 25ml elderflower cordial, then top up with apple juice; or add
cinnamon sticks, cloves and a shot of Drambuie to your juice and heat gently
before serving.

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