Extracting Juice for Jelly
Learn the best ways to extract fruit juice for jelly.
Preparing the Fruit
- Unless using added pectin, use 1/4 slightly under-ripe fruit and 3/4 just ripe fruit. If you're adding pectin, you can use all ripe fruit.
- Prepare fruit in small batches, enough for one recipe.
- Sort the fruit, discarding all damaged portions.
- Wash fruits, but do not remove skins or cores, since the pectin is more concentrated there. Cut into small pieces.
- Wash berries carefully to prevent loss of juice. Drain, remove caps and stems.
Extracting the Juice Using Traditional Methods
- Place fruit into a flat-bottomed saucepan and add cold water. For apples and other hard fruits, add up to 1 cup per pound of fruit. For berries and grapes, use only enough water to prevent scorching. Crush soft fruits to start the flow of juice.
- Bring to a boil on high heat. Stir to prevent scorching.
- Reduce heat.
- Grapes and berries need 10 minutes or less to cook until soft. Apples and other hard fruits may need 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the firmness of the fruit. Do not overcook; excess boiling will destroy the pectin, flavor and color.
- Pour everything into a damp jelly bag and suspend the bag to drain the juice. The clearest jelly comes from juice that has dripped through a jelly bag without pressing or squeezing.
- If a fruit press is used to extract the juice, the juice should be restrained through a jelly bag.
Extracting Juice Using a Steam Juice Extractor
A steam juice extractor is a three tier kettle that uses steam to cook fruits or vegetables to release their juice. The base level holds water which is heated and converted to steam which moves up through the funnel in the center of the middle level to the top level where the produce is placed. A lid keeps the steam around the food as it cooks. As the fruits and/or vegetables are heated they release their juices which drip through the colander like base of the top level and are collected in the center compartment. Most models have a clamped hose attached to the center level which can be opened to allow juice to be collected and used to make jelly, as a beverage or as a base for soup or stew.
An advantage of this system is that the juice extracted is clear which eliminates the need to strain it through layers of cheese cloth or a jelly bag. The juice can be processed using a boiling water canner or frozen if not made into jelly.
Steam juice extractors are available for $60 to $200.
Diagram of 11-Quart Stainless Steel Juicer Steamer, Fruit Vegetables Steamer For Food With Glass Lid Hose With Clamp Loop Handles, Perfect Home Kitchen Stainless Steel Cookware By WATERJOY