I'm trying to figure out why it took me so long to discover this simple yet ingenious contraption. It's actually a very old concept. These things have been around forever but somehow I've never used one until last weekend.
Have you ever seen one?
It's called a Steam Juice Extractor, because it uses heated steam to extract juice. No need to pit, peel or chop anything. It's a great way to make juice from large quantities of fruit & vegetables.
This particular model is an oldie. I bought it at a yard sale and it was quite a bargain. Yep, that says "$3.00". I'm planning on getting a fancy new one, but this one will do for the sake of experimentation.
This is what 10 pounds of Sour Cherries looks like before steaming:
And this is what they look like after steaming for 2 hours.
The fresh raw fruit goes into the top level; it's like a steamer basket.
The midsection is where the juice collects. The spigot is actually attached to this part, although in this photo it looks like the spigot is part of the bottom pan. It needs to be drained as the juice collects, since it isn't very deep.
The lower portion is filled with water, and the whole thing is set on a stove top over high heat. The water in the reservoir turns to steam, which extracts the juice.
This 10 pound batch of fruit eventually yielded 72 ounces of juice, which works out to approximately one cup of juice per pound. Because of the high heat, the juice is already pasteurized, so it can can be bottled & sealed as is, or used in recipes, such as jelly, candy or syrup. Or just let it cool a bit and guzzle away like I did.
Next project? Apricot Nectar*. Don't you just love that word?
*Nectar1. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Botany) a sugary fluid produced in the nectaries of plants and collected by bees and other animals2. (Myth & Legend / Classical Myth & Legend) Classical myth the drink of the gods Compare ambrosia 3. any delicious drink, esp a sweet one4. something very pleasant or welcome your words are nectar to me5. (Cookery) Chiefly USa. the undiluted juice of a fruitb. a mixture of fruit juices