Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Steam Juicer Tutorial - Crabby Butter

If you haven't ever used a Steam Juicer , sometimes called Mehu-Maija or Mehu-Liisa, you are missing out on a fabulous canning tool! This is my all time favorite tool and I've used it for making grape juice, pear juice, peach juice, etc. I've also used it very recently to make crabapple jellies and crabapple butter. Here is the process:

This picture shows the base of the Steam Juicer. It is filled 3/4 full of water and put on the burner. It has a wonderfully thick bottom and is great for roasting or cooking down salsas, etc., but for the steam juicing purposes, all it does is hold the water that will be heated to steam.
Next, the reservoir is placed on top of the water pot. This will collect the juice from the fruit. You can see a hose coming out of the side of the reservoir. This works as a siphon and when your juice is ready you simply squeeze the clamp open and juice will pour into the jar.In case you were wondering what the inside of the reservoir looked like, here it is.
Next, send out the boys to fill the 3rd level of the Steam Juicer. It is called a basket. It is full of holes in the sides. Rinse your fruit (stems and all) and place basket on top of the reservoir.
Place the Lid on top of the steam juicer and, on high heat, set your time for 1 hour. After the timer goes off, pull off burner for 15 minutes or so to allow juices to finish flowing. Fill your sterilized jars to almost 1/8 inch head space and seal with sterilized lids. Because this juice has been steamed, and steam is hotter than boiling water, there is not a need to hot bath your juice. Let the jars cool and then label. If you are making grape juice, mix 1 quart of water to 1 quart of grape juice. Add sugar to taste. Pretty simple! Now, in the case of my crabs, I use the juice to make jellies, crabapple pepper jelly and pancake syrup. The crabapple juice can be boiled to gelling point with sugar (no pectin necessary) to make wonderful jellies.
I hate waste, and this is what I'm left with after the fruit has been juiced. Seeds, skins and stems. Then one day, I realized that the strainer I have for my kitchen aid that I use to remove seeds from my blackberries, can also remove seeds, skins and stems if I were making apple sauce. (How sad it has taken me this long to figure it out)! Sooooo, I stuck my crabs through my strainer!
Here is my strainer, hard at work. The boys really get into this part because this process makes lots of weird gastro-type noises. Everything gets put through the strainer and all of the stems, seeds and skins exit the strainer into the bowl. In the pot I add brown sugar and spices to taste. The butter is already THICK (and I didn't have to stand there and stir it all day long). The butter is stirred to boiling (you must keep stirring, it is so thick that it will scorch quickly) and then ladled into sterile jars and hot bathed to seal. From one batch I average 6 pints of crabapple juice and 6-7 pints of crabby butter!
(Notice Gummy Bears - Great for keeping Her Royal Higness occupied).


Stephanie said...

I've used a steam juicer for grape juice - what a mess I made! Once again, after reading your blog I need a nap.

shagreel said...

I have recently move to a home that has some big apple trees out back and am now learning all about apples. Thanks for you post. It has taught me a lot. One question though. Do you keep all the juice in the pot until you are done cooking it all or do you fill the jars as it cooks? Maybe it doesn't matter?

I remember doing this with grapes when I was one of "the boys". Looking back, I had no idea what was going on except that I had to watch out for spiders and wasps in the grapes and that I had very purple hands when I was done bringing them to Mom. I can't wait to have my children now bringing me apples to cook!

Annie said...

Thanks for the information. We are about to put up apple juice with our new steamer juicer and I was concerned sealing the jars directly from the juicer (no water bath). Have you tried tomato juice or the tomato boullion (with peppers, onions, and carrots) also with this method? The recipe is in the Mehu Liisa cookbook that came with the canner. I would appreciate any advice you have to give me. We are new at this, but love the juicer!

Annie said...

I meant "juicer", not canner.

Military Loans said...

If I had space in the fridge and/or had made less, I wouldn't have bothered processing it.

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