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Extension > Food > Food Safety > Preserving and Preparing > Fruits > Making Apple Juice or Cider: Outdated and Current Recipes

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Making Apple Juice or Cider: Outdated and Current Recipes

Suzanne Driessen, Extension Educator — Food Safety

Reviewed 2013 by Kathy Brandt, Extension Educator — Food Safety.

Outdated Apple Juice Recipe

Caution: Making apple juice by using the following outdated recipe may produce a dangerous product.

“One ice cream bucket (5 quarts)
of cut up apples and 2 tablespoons
of cream of tartar. Cover with
boiling water and let stand overnight.
Drain and can or refrigerate.”

Why is this recipe risky? Apple juice is a high acid food and adding cream of tartar makes it more acidic. However, letting the juice “stand overnight” at room temperature may allow acid tolerant yeast and bacteria like E.coli 0157:H7 to grow. Many times apple juice or cider is made from apples that have been on the ground. The apples can become contaminated with E.coli bacteria from deer, cattle, bird or mouse droppings.

Current Recommendations

Whether you purchase the juice from a local cider maker or press your own juice it should be pasteurized by heating it to 160 degrees F. before drinking, refrigerating or canning. If you purchase it from a local orchard, ask if it has been pasteurized.

The USDA/Extension does not have recommended methods for pressing the juice. Although there are consumer apple presses available. Ease of clean up and sanitation needs to be considered. Pressing requires a lot of time and effort and it is a messy process.

How to Pasteurize Apple Juice or Cider at Home

Heat apple juice or cider in a pan on the stove to 160 degrees F. for six seconds while stirring constantly. If you do not have a food thermometer, heat to boiling (stirring constantly) and immediately remove the pan from the heat.

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