Our juice is back from the press and our apples have made much more than I thought they would – sixty four 75cl bottles!W
e packed them up in large cardboard boxes and took them over to a small commercial press near Andover.
We have had a good year with our main apple tree and two years ago we did the same. It doesn’t matter if the fruit is a little blotchy so long as it isn’t rotten. They will press any soft fruit or tree fruit so long as it doesn’t have a stone (like peaches or cherries). I like the idea of adding some raspberries to the apples one year if we have a good enough harvest and I’m looking forward to pressing our own pears in the years to come too.
The apple juice is pasteurised so it will last for months and they add a little lemon juice so it doesn’t discolour but other than that it is pure apple juice with no added sugar. It is sharper than supermarket juice and smells of roses. Our variety Howgate Wonder is often used in commercial products.
It’s not cheap though to get apples pressed: £2.80 a bottle including customised labels. Our batch came to a heady £179.20 and I’m not sure that I would spend that much on juice in a year at the supermarket but I don’t like to see any of our produce go to waste: there’s no way we could preserve or store all our apples and of course it is uniquely ours. Next time we may only press some of the apples rather than the whole tree and we could investigate keeping the cost down by printing our own labels.