Processing Blueberries and Peaches

I wanted to post some photos and info regarding processing steps using the Mehu-Liisa. Below are basic instructions and info about my juicing and pulp processing regimen for Blueberries and Peaches. My family loves Blueberry and Peach fruit spread so I always process the pulp when I juice these fruits.

Incredible Shrinking Fruit:

Fruit that has been steamed for juice in the Mehu-Liisa looses a lot of volume. Here are some images to give you an idea:

   

The first image is the full basket of berries just before I put it into the Mehu-Liisa (which has been coming to a boil). The second image is after 45 minutes steaming (I don’t go further as the juice after 45 min. is negligible). Sometimes, I only juice for 30 minutes if I plan on making fruit spread from the pulp. In this situation I let it go 45 mins. and added juice back into processed pulp.

   

These images are after 15, 30, and 45 minutes. The colander was full when I put it into the Mehu-Liisa at the beginning of processing. Peaches retain a fair amount of bulk after juicing and make excellent fruit spread. I also added juice back into the peach fruit spread.

Basic Processing Techniques:

Over the years I have developed habits when using the Mehu-Liisa. Here is one for drawing off juice (I’ll post more as they come to mind):

Drawing off juice:
I use a plastic mixing bowl (fairly deep) to hold the hot jars (direct from 250 degree oven) when I draw off juice. Notice I have a glove on as well, to avoid steam burns. Kid leather garden gloves work even better as they are more maneuverable and supple to enable grabbing jars from oven without using hot pads.
  

Process Timing (or how to avoid burning your waterpan dry):

I use large display digital timers to time my processing so as not to boil the pan dry. I set the timer for 30 mins. and when it goes off I check the water and add some if necessary. I check the juice level as well and if it is near the top of the funnel in the juice kettle I drain it off into sterile jars. Then, I set the timer for 15 minutes more. I usually get another quart of juice.

REMEMBER! – you DON’T need to use high heat and a furious boil. Once water comes to a boil set heat at medium high and keep a steady boil. Once the juicer gets up to full steam it will release excess steam from the top as the lid bounces up and down – also at the seams between parts of the juicer. This is totally normal and in fact, the juicer is designed to do this so that the juice isn’t diluted with condensation.

 

Steam escaping from the top of the Mehu-Liisa. Once done processing, it’s easy clean up.

Making Blueberry and Peach Fruit Spreads:

After juicing I process the pulp that is left through a Foley Food Mill. I keep track of how much pulp I get and then use Pomona Pectin and organic cane sugar to make fruit spread. This time around I added back a quart each of Blueberry and Peach juice to each batch to increase the flavor of the fruit in the spread.

     
I spoon the pulp from basket to Foley Mill and grind away. No time at all to extract the pulp. Not much left over.
Here are the basic steps for processing with Pomona:

– Mix calcium water as per instructions in Pomona Pectin box. Add 1/2 the sugar, lemon (if called for), and calcium to fruit pulp. Bring to a boil. Mix pectin into rest of sugar thoroughly and add to boiling pulp little by little stirring all the time. Stirring constantly (to dissolve the pectin) bring back to boil and boil for 2 minutes. Take off heat and ladle into steril jars. Water bath process according to fruit canning (not jam or jelly canning) guidelines.
Here are my ratios as per the Pomona Pectin instructions (they will be different for every batch):

Blueberry –

3 qts + 1 cp pulp (includes 1 qt added juice), 3/4 cp lemon juice, 3 cps sugar (too much after tasting), 2 TB pectin, 4 TB calcium water. This yielded 16 cups of fruit spread

Peach –

4 cps + 1 pt pulp (includes 1 qt added juice), 1 cp lemon juice, 2.5 cps sugar,  4 TB + 1.5 tsp pectin, 6 TB calcium water. This yielded 18 cups of fruit spread.

Here are a few photos of the juice, etc.:

   

Rich, thick golden peach juice (someone’s been at it already!). Beautiful dark blueberry juice. Hungry Mr. Clemm.

Well, it’s been fun sharing all this with you folks. Let me know what you think. Also, check out the recipe and tips forum on the website.

Take Care

Daniel

About dheila62

Owner of Mehu-Liisa Products, importer of the Mehu-Liisa Steam Juicer from Finland.
This entry was posted in Berry Season, recipes, Summer, Tips and Techniques. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Processing Blueberries and Peaches

  1. IthacaNancy says:

    Beautiful!
    I see that you have a Kitchen-Aid. Last year I used my friend’s Kitchen-Aid colander and sieve attachment; it was so easy to use – much better than the food mill I’d used before! They aren’t made anymore, but i was able to buy one through eBay.
    I hadn’t thought of sterilizing the bottles in the oven; I usually boil mine.

    • Daniel says:

      Nancy,
      Sorry for the late reply. I am still getting used to the mechanisms of these blogs and forums. I would be interested in seeing a picture of that sieve attachment you mention. I have a bloke from UK who is looking for an alternative to the manual Foley and I think that your gadget may work for him. Let me know if you can send one over.

      Thanks
      Daniel

  2. I just received my juicer steamer and so far I love it. The concentrated blueberry juice is so pretty and clear and tastes fantastic. Do I need to dilute it with water after it has been canned when we are ready to drink it? Also when do I add the lemon juice?

    • dheila62 says:

      Donna
      Glad to hear you are enjoying your juicer. You can dilute the blueberry juice to your liking. Some folks will dilute up to 1:1. Some folks heat the juice up without diluting, add some choice spices and sugar, and drink as a hot mulled juice. Yummy on a cold winter night. The lemon juice is added to the “blueberry lemonade base” that I got when I poured 1/2 gallon of hot water over the pulp at the end of processing. This yields a diluted juice perfect for berry-lemonade. When the diluted juice is cool, add sugar to taste and add the juice of 1-3 lemons. I also add the squeezed lemon halves to the juice – this gives it a nice oil-of-lemon taste. Let me know if you have any other questions. Take Care!

    • dheila62 says:

      Donna –

      I just realized you were looking at an older post about blueberries. I was still thinking about plum juicing as we are inundated with plums of all sorts and sizes this year. Here is the plum post with the lemonade recipe we spoke of on the phone:

      Gleaning and Plum Processing

      Just swap out plums for blueberries and you will be on your way to wonderful berry-lemonade. There is also a recipe for berry simple syrup. Enjoy!

      Take Care
      Daniel

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