I vividly remember how nice it was, when I was a kid, to pick with granny and dad black cherries from the tree we used to have in the garden. Then we would take away the pits, boil the cherries with sugar, extract some juice out of them and use what was left in order to make jams.
When I picked aronia berries (I speak about them here), I started wondering how could I use them. So Klapsu suggested to extract some juice. I was almost going to write to granny to ask additional tips, when my mother-in-law started talking about a steam juicer.
And here it is!
Well, it really seems that Finland is a step ahead my imagination. In fact, steam juicers exist even though I’ve never heard about them in Italy. On the contrary, it seems that every Finnish family own one.
How does it work? Basically a steam juicer is composed of 3 different kettles placed on the top of each other.
The first kettle, the most normal one, wide and quite low, is supposed to be filled with water.
The second one has in its bottom center an upward perforated cone. From this hole, the vapor caused by the boiling water (situated in the kettle below) reaches the fruits (in the kettle above). As a result, the fruits start to warm, release their juice that goes in the external ring of the kettle and that will be drawn off by a rubber tube equipped with a clamp lock.
The third kettle is basically a colander. In it the fruits are put.
A juice steamer has to have a cover that shouldn’t be touched if not necessary so that the heat wouldn’t dissipate.
So, when you fill the first kettle with water, you place on the top of it the second kettle and the third and when you fill the third kettle with fruits or berries, you don’t have to do anything else but wait!
We also would bring close to the stove a chair and place there a second kettle where the juice would be gathered.
Another way to gather the juice is to directly put it on sterilized bottles.
If you’d like a sweeter juice, you just have to add some sugar either in the kettle with the fruits or in the kettle where the juice will be gathered.
A juice steamer needs at least 2 hours in order to extract all the juice from the fruits/berries.
Talking about quantities, it varies depending on the fruit. With aronia berries, for 2,3 kg of berries I could extract little bit more than 2 and a half liters of juice, included the half a kilo of sugar I added to sweeten the flavor.
Remember that the juice you’ll obtain is a concentrate, so you’ll have to dilute it with 4/5 parts of water.
Of course, you can extract juice from whichever fruit you want.
When it will be cooled down, you can keep it in refrigerator or, if you are not planning to use it very soon, you can even freeze it and then thaw it out half an hour before you drink it!