Raspberries in a Steam Juicer
July 16, 2008
Raspberry juice is quick and easy to make with a steam juicer. The steam simply bursts the little cells of the berry, and out runs the precious juice. It is hot and ready to be sealed in sterile bottles, where it will keep on the shelf indefinitely. The lids and containers do need to be washed and then sterilized in boiling water, or use the oven for the jars or bottles.
The juice from Raspberries will be extracted from a full juicer basket in the first hour after you begin heating the Steam Juicer. Half full loads may be done in 20 minutes, if the juicer is preheated. The last 5-10% of raspberry juice will have a strong taste from the seeds, so you should discard it. Our steam juicer is a MEHU-LIISA brand, and we have a link below to the instructions. There are other brands as well. I prefer Stainless Steel construction like ours has, but units made of Aluminum are also available. The latest Government recommendations say these jars should be processed in a canner for on the shelf storage.I have not had any trouble here, you will have to decide for your family.
The first time you use one, you will be amazed by how little is left of the fruit once the steam has extracted the juice. The fruit container will only be 20% full after the process is done. No pressing, no straining in cheese cloth, or in a jelly bag. Fill the water vessel and the fruit basket. Assemble the Steam Juicer on the stove burner, and bring it up to operating temperature on high. Once steam is escaping, turn the burner half way down. Of course you can't allow the water container on the bottom to boil dry, that would ruin it. I have yet to get low on water with any food I have done. It can also be used to cook foods with steam.
You will be able to see juice as it goes into the opaque tube. Draw off the first pint or so, and pour it back over the fruit inside. This will help move the process along, and flush the tube with hot juice.
Today I wanted to make three batches of Raspberry Jelly, so I needed 12 cups of prepared juice. I started with 8 quarts of whole berries, which made more than enough. I measured the hot juice for each batch, and poured it into our Maslin Pan and added the sugar. Following the recipe that came with the liquid pectin product. I brought it to a rolling boil stirring constantly, and added the pectin. Bring it back to a rolling boiling while continuously stirring and time for one minute. Skim off foam, and ladle into jars. Be careful when extracting raspberry juice in a steam juicer. The last 5-10% of the juice will begin to pick up a strong flavor, probably from the seeds. So discard the last of the juice. Anyone with a good nose, will be able to smell this happening.
The Maslin Pan was designed for jelly, jam and candy making. It is made of stainless steel, with a thick slab of heat conducting Aluminum bonded to the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. It also has an unusual shape. The bottom is 8 inches in diameter, so all of it makes contact with the heat from the burner. The top is 12 inches in diameter, to allow more surface area for boiling down, as well as more volume so it is less likely to boil over. It really makes it easier to use, and it should last virtually forever. I was afraid it was too expensive to be worth the price, but after using it I am convinced it is actually a bargain.
The use of commercial liquid pectin products allows much more uniform results. Recipes relying on the pectin which is naturally in fruit in various lesser amounts, will call for boiling the fruit and sugar much longer, and checking it to see when it appears to be thick enough. The fruit will darken, but Vitamin C powder or commercial products with other food acids can lessen the discoloration. With some fruits, you will need to add pectin you make at home. Apple, Plum or Quince, are rich sources of pectin. It is an art to make jellies and jams which set perfectly at home WITHOUT commercial pectin. I am content with a thick syrup I can use on pancakes or corn bread myself.
I followed the recipe on the package of liquid fruit pectin. Each batch made 8 cups of delicious jelly, so we had a total of 24 cups to divide into small jars of various sizes.