A few weeks ago, I was given a steam juicer. I had wanted one for over a year, so when my friend gave it to me, I was thrilled beyond belief!
What’s a Steam Juicer? I’m sure you must be asking yourself this question right about now.
A steam juicer is a stove-top juice extractor that is wonderful for making apple, grape, strawberry, peach, pear, etc., juice. It can also be used to cook meat. The bonus of using a steam juicer is not only do you get the juice; you also get the left-over pulp to use, as is the case with my applesauce.
Let me explain. The juicer has three separate compartments and a lid. The bottom reservoir holds water, that when heated to boiling creates and sends steam up through the middle section so it can reach the top section, which houses the fruit. The top section is a large colander that will hold quite a bit of apples or grapes, or whatever it is that you are juicing.
When the steam reaches the fruit, it starts to break down the cells of the fruit, which releases the juice. The juice drips into the middle section, which has a tube coming from it. The tube empties into another pot. Once that pot is full of juice, I clamp off the tube, empty the pot into another container, and unclamp the tube.
Rinse and repeat until all the juice has been released from your fruit.
When I got my juicer, I immediately went to the orchard and bought a box of 2nds. Seconds are the apples that aren’t pretty enough to sell in the showroom. They are usually misshapen, bruised or wormy. That wasn’t a problem for me. I simply washed and cut away the bad parts, dumped them into my steam juicer and let it do its magic.
When I’d extracted all the juice, I had quite a bit of apple pulp to deal with. This is where you get bonus prizes from using a steam juicer. I ran that apple pulp through my Foley food mill, and had apple sauce. It was very good on its own, but I did sweeten it with a bit of Splenda to make it even sweeter.
I used Ruby John apples in my first steam juicing experiment. The bushel of 2nds cost me $10. From the $10 investment plus my time, I got over 2 gallons of pretty pink apple juice (pink because the apple skins were very red) and about 2 gallons of pretty pink apple sauce. I didn’t stop there. From the apple juice, I made 18 half-pints of apple jelly and canned 12 half-pints of juice to drink. (We don’t drink a lot of fruit juice because of the calories, but I use it in cooking sometimes.) I had a little bit of juice left over and I mixed it back into the apple sauce.
From the applesauce, I canned 12 pints of lightly sweetened applesauce and made 12 half-pints of Pumple Butter.
I took 3 quarts of applesauce and put it into my crock pot. Then I added about 1 quart of pumpkin puree that I had frozen last year. I then added cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin pie spice and a bag of Splenda Brown Sugar. I let it cook in the Crockpot on low all night.
Oh…..my….goodness! Pumple Butter is heavenly! I gave away 9 half-pints and kept the rest for myself.
I’ve been told that Pumple Butter would make a great Christmas present…
I invested $10.
In the grocery store, I would have to pay the following to buy what I made myself:
12 ½ -pints of apple juice: $3.72
18 ½-pints of apple jelly: $17.98 (at .96 per ½ pint)
12 pints of applesauce: $11.88 (at $1.98 per quart)
12 ½-pints (3 quarts) Pumple Butter: Stores don’t carry pumple butter, so I’ll use apple butter for my figures: $6.54
I saved $30.12 by making the items myself. Plus, I know where the apples came from and I know what is in everything I made. Yes, it took quite a bit of my time, but I think it was time well-invested.
Note: If you are steam-juicing something like peaches, pears, or even apples, you can puree your left-over pulp and put in into a dehydrator to make your own fruit leather. Imagine! Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups!
Steam Juicing Meat
I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve been told that I can throw meat into the steam juicer and extract the broth, which I can then can for use in soups and gravies. I’ll be left with meat that can be shredded for uses in casseroles or barbeque sandwiches, etc. I’ll let you know when I try it!