Making apple juice with a juice press

How to Make Apple Juice

Apple juice is one of the best ways to use extra apples before they go bad. Fresh juice is a delicious beverage to serve to guests or just to keep on hand for yourself. Apple juicing can seem like an intimidating process, but don’t worry. This post has everything you need to know about how to make apple juice from what apples to use, the supplies you’ll need, recipes for making juice with or without a juicer, and ways to store juice.

The Best Apples for Apple Juice

Best Apples for Apple Juice

The first step to making apple juice is choosing your apples. Almost any apple will work for homemade juice. However, different varieties will lead to a different taste in the end. There are three main types of apple juice: sweet, tart, and balanced.

Many are concerned about homemade apple juice losing its color and turning brown. Don’t let that stop you from making delicious homemade apple juice. Tarter fruits usually have higher acid content. That means they won’t oxidize as quickly and will keep a natural light color for a long time. However, sweet juice doesn’t have to be brown. Add a bit of citric acid, lemon juice, or a crushed vitamin C tablet, and the apple juice will keep its color.

Don’t worry about all the options. Here we’ve broken down all the varieties of apples for juice so the decision is easy.

The Best Apples for Sweet Juice

  • Red Delicious will make a sweet juice with a classic appley flavor.
  • Golden Delicious will yield a mellow juice with melon and vanilla notes.
  • .

The Best Apples for Tart Juice

  • Granny Smith has a high juice content and wonderful sour apple flavor.
  • Sweet Tango will produce a tangy juice that leaves a sweet flavor in the mouth but begins sour.
  • Pink Lady will make a refreshing and bright tart apple juice.

The Best Apples for Balanced Juice

  • Gala will produce a light, floral juice.
  • Honeycrisp will make a delicious juice that is sweet and tart but not very acidic.
  • Braeburn will make a classic, balanced juice that tastes fresh.

Why Make Apple Juice from Scratch?

girl drinking apple juice

Homemade apple juice is a delicious and natural beverage option. Making apple juice from scratch allows you to experiment with more complex and full juice flavors by mixing and matching your favorite apple varieties. If you grow apples, it’s a great way to use up some of that fall harvest.

Juicing apples is a great way to make sure that imperfect produce doesn’t go to waste. Apples that are slightly bruised, lopsided, or otherwise blemished still make delicious apple juice. No one will ever be able to tell once it’s fresh juice in their glass.

If you come across an end-of-fall apple sale at your local orchard, making apple juice can be very cost-effective. Instead of buying juice from the grocery store, make your own and freeze it in freezer pouches to use throughout the year.

Supplies You Need to Make Apple Juice

To make apple juice, you’ll need several things. Don’t be intimidated; most people have all of the supplies somewhere in their kitchen. If not, it’s easy to get everything you need to make homemade apple juice for years to come.

You can make apple juice in several ways. If you have a juicer, it cuts out some of the steps. If not, it’s still pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

Here’s what you need to make apple juice if you’re using a juicer or apple press:

Here’s what you need to make apple juice without a juicer:

How To Juice Apples

Cutting apples to make apple juice

Apple juicing is pretty easy once you have everything you need. The total time should take about 10 minutes of active work. An apple juice recipe is pretty straightforward to follow. After a few times, the juicing process will become second nature. You won’t want to go back.

Here are some simple recipes for homemade apple juice. If you’re making apple juice with a juicer, use the first recipe. If you’re making juice without a juicer, use the second apple juice recipe.

Recipe 1: How To Make Homemade Apple Juice with a Juicer

Makes about 1/2 gallon, or eight servings. Total time about 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 10 lb apples (about 40)
  • 1 T citric acid or lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash the apples.
  2. Peel and core the apples. This way, you won’t get the seeds and peel in the juice, which causes discoloration and bitterness. Throw away or compost the peels and cores.
  3. Slice the apples so that they fit in your juicer. Follow the juicer instructions for processing the apples. Save the juice in a pitcher and set aside the pulp, which is just apple puree (you can use it to make other things like apple leather later).
  4. The apple juice will likely have foam on the top. It’s completely edible, but some people don’t like it. You can strain the apple juice through a filter or cheesecloth to get any leftover pulp out, or you can skim it off with a spoon.
  5. Stir in the citric acid or lemon juice to prevent browning if using.
  6. If you want to store your juice for a while, pasteurize it before storing it.
  7. Serve your homemade apple juice or store it in the refrigerator.

Recipe 2: How To Make Homemade Apple Juice Without a Juicer

Makes about 1/2 gallon, or eight servings. Total time about 20 minutes (depending on cooking time).

Ingredients:

  • 10 lb apples (about 40)
  • 1 T citric acid or lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash the apples.
  2. Peel and core the apples, so you don’t get discoloration or bitterness in the juice. Throw away or compost the skin and cores.
  3. Put the apples in a large pot with just enough water to cover the bottom. Put the lid on. Cook the apples and water until they are soft enough to poke with a fork. OR cook in a pressure cooker for about 1 minute of cook time.
  4. Use a potato masher or a blender to puree the soft apples and the leftover liquid.
  5. Cover a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Put the strainer over a bowl. Put the apple puree and liquid into the strainer and press it. The juice will run into the bowl. You may need to repeat this step several times.
  6. Set aside the puree and strain the juice into a pitcher. Mix in the citric acid or lemon juice if using.

Note: If you want to make raw apple juice without a juicer, just skip step 3 and use a blender or food processor to puree the apples as finely as possible.

What to Do With Leftover Apple Puree

Nobody wants to throw away perfectly good apple puree. Good news: you can salvage all the apple goodness left after juicing. Make your apple puree into spiced fruit leather. Apple leather is a healthy and natural grab-and-go snack. Or cook down the apple puree into spiced apple butter to use on pancakes and bread.

How to Store Apple Juice

Once you’ve chosen your apples, found a good recipe, and made fresh apple juice, one question arises. How do you store this juice? You can store apple juice in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. It’s essential to make sure that the apple juice does not sit out on a warm kitchen counter so it does not become moldy.

For a more long-term storage option, try freezing the juice in freezer pouches. Then you have a fresh beverage to grab on the go that will stay cold as it melts. The juice will stay good in the freezer for up to 12 months if it is well-sealed. Just be sure not to freeze it in a glass container or fill a plastic container to the top. Liquids expand as they freeze, and you could end up with a broken container and juice all over your freezer.

Apple Juice Versus Apple Cider

Pouring a cup of apple cider

One common question is, what’s the difference between apple juice and apple cider? Simply put, apple juice is the filtered or pasteurized juice from apples. Apple cider is the raw juice that has not undergone processing to remove pulp.

Furthermore, cider is often spiced. Because cider is unpasteurized, it can begin to undergo fermentation over time. Whether you end up making apple juice or apple cider, both beverages are sure to delight.

Now you’ve learned everything you need to know to make apple juice. Get some apples and start juicing!

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