Steam juicing is an old fashioned, but still excellent way of using up excess fruit, saving it from going to waste. It is a great alternative to buying expensive and unhealthy cordials and concentrates (they all contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives) and means you can enjoy your home grown produce long out of season. Properly bottled juice made this way can keep for several years if kept in a cool dark space.
Using a steam juicer is fairly easy. Half fill the bottom pan with fresh water, place over a hotplate, put the upper pan over it, lower in the large colander or fruit basket and fill it with fruit of your choice. As the steam rises from the lower pan, it will break open the fruit and the water from the steam will replace the liquid in the fruit, resulting in the juice being released and caught in the upper pan. This juice is then tapped off and filled into bottles.
Usually some sugar is added to the juice and the easiest way to do this is to just pour the sugar over the top of the fruit being processed. This way it is gradually dissolved by the steam and mixes evenly into the juice that collects. Obviously less sugar is healthier, so start with just a little and add more if the juice is very sour. A healthy alternative is to mix different sorts of fruits together to improve flavor naturally. Very ripe pears are really sweet, and adding half a dozen to a batch of apples can be as good as adding a cup of sugar.
With a bit of experimenting you will find when it is best to stop juicing certain fruits. As the juice is tapped of, you will find it becomes progressively less tasty – usually a full basket of firm fruit like apple will yield about 4 liters of really tasty concentrated juice, and after this tastes a bit “gray”. It is best to just compost the pulp after this point and start with the next lot. If you require replacement steam juicer parts, or are considering buying a steam juicer, remember that online stores will offer far better deals than retailers, because they can cut out many of the expenses associated with retail sales. Online stores are a safe, fast and convenient way to buy.