This apple juice is a great way to use up your orchard haul, and it doesn’t require a juicer or blender. All you need is fresh fruit. If your apples are sweet, you might not even need to add sugar.
Some apple varieties that would make excellent juice include Fuji, golden delicious, gala, red delicious, honeycrisp, granny Smith, and Rome. The combination of sweeter apples, such as Fuji and honeycrisp would make excellent juice when combined with a few tart apples, such as granny Smith and McIntosh. If your apples are not very sweet, you can always add sugar to the finished juice.
- 6 pounds apples (about 15 to 18)
- sugar, to taste, optional
- 2 cinnamon sticks, or to taste, optional
Gather the ingredients.
Wash the apples and then core them—there’s no need to peel them. Slice or dice the apples.
Put the apples in a large Dutch oven or stockpot (7 quarts or larger) and cover with water. The apples will float, so press them down a bit as you add the water. The water should come to the top of the apples. Too much, and the juice will be weak and will need more time for reduction.
Place the apples over high heat and bring to a boil (this will take about 10 to 15 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium-low; gently boil the apples for 40 minutes.
Strain the apples through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing to extract as much juice as possible; return the juice to the pot. Alternatively, line a strainer or colander with a double thickness of cheesecloth or use a nut milk bag. Taste the strained juice and add sugar and cinnamon sticks, if desired. Taste and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. If the flavor is a bit weak, continue to simmer until the flavor is more concentrated.
Use a food mill or chinois to make applesauce from the leftover apple mush, if desired. Add some sugar and cinnamon, to taste.
How Long Does Homemade Apple Juice Last?
Homemade apple juice has no preservatives, so it won’t last as long as commercial apple juice. Refrigerate the apple juice and use it within 1 week. Check it for an off odor or appearance.
Can Homemade Apple Juice Be Preserved?
It’s easy to can homemade apple juice. Transfer the finished hot juice to clean, hot quart or pint-size canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Place the lids on the jars and adjust the bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes; remove to a rack to cool. Check the jar lids for seal the next day. The center of the lids should stay down. Learn more about how to process foods in a water bath canner.
How to Store and Freeze
- Let the finished juice cool and then refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- To freeze, transfer the juice to freezer containers or bags and label with the name and date. The juice will expand when frozen, so make sure to leave at least 1/2 inch of headspace. Freeze the juice for up to 8 months.