Saturday, October 12, 2013

It must be fall - pressing apples for apple juice

One of my favorite garden times of year is in the fall when we use the apples we have grown for a myriad of purposes (pies, apple butter, applesauce, apple quick breads) but most especially when we press the apples for juice with our 30 year old apple press.  We purchased it when we lived in Santa Cruz in the early 1980's.  We are still using it and it functions well.  Here are some pictures of the process featuring my wife, Illijana.
We are using apples from our ten planted varieties which were picked between two and three weeks ago then left to ripen and mellow in and under our house.  We also used two varieties picked at our neighbor's house.  Usually we try to freeze the juice, but we ran out of room this year in our freezers so we are doing a "lower temperature" pasteurization for the 24 quarts of juice we pressed.
Illijana, press, apples
Washing tub, cutting out the "bad parts"
Turning the hand crank to press the apples

Flowing juice
Spreading pulp in garden bed for organic matter