How to Make Apple Cider in a Juicer
After giving away, saucing, and drying two
thirds of our traded apples, I've been pondering making cider out of
the rest. Mark suggested seeing what the juicer would do with
them, but I creased my brow and denied its utility for all I was
worth. "We'll have to cut them up and it'll take hours!" I moaned, thinking of the
cider press a friend has offered to lend us.
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But, in the end, Mark's reasoning prevailed. He reminded me that
another friend had tried out a similar press recently and found it to
be more trouble than it was worth. Add to that the fact that the
presses weigh a ton (not quite literally), and it suddenly looked more
interesting to try home juicing.
Despite what other folks will tell you, there's no need to cut out bad
spots, cores, or stems before making cider. Just cut your apples
up enough that they'll fit in the juicer (quarters in our case), mash
them in, and cider will come pouring out the other end. Wait a
little bit and skim off the foam and your cider is ready to
drink. (Don't fall for the government's line that you risk dying
a horrible death if you drink unpasteurized cider --- cooking the cider
makes it taste like apple juice and my stomach at least can handle a
few germs in the pursuit of good flavor.)
The end result --- both of us were right. It took me about 45
minutes to turn a fourth of a bushel of apples into a little less than
half a gallon of juice, but that's probably about the same amount of
time (or less) than it would have taken to use the press. I still
had time to crack out a bunch of raw Chinese chestnuts to make pesto
for supper (a pesto that Mark and I agreed tasted much better than
pesto made with walnuts!) Even though the garden has slowed down,
it looks like we'll be busy squirreling away apples and chestnuts from
friends for another few weeks yet.