I finally got around to trying my hand at making raspberry juice, like my grandmother (Mema) used to make. The first batch was good, but didn't really taste like Mema's. It was clear and a little watery, even though I didn't add to much water. The second batch came out excellent! The key, as I remember, is to use over ripe raspberries, the one's that are deep red, almost dark purple and about to fall off the bush. They are the juiciest and seem to have the most pulp. The second batch cooked down nice and was cloudy, pulpy and thick, just like I remembered!
This is the recipe I used:
- Thoroughly rinse the berries and place them in a heavy pot with just enough water to make them float. Less water is better for a thick concentrate.
- Bring to a boil, mash down the raspberries with a potato masher and then bring back to a boil.
- Line a strainer with several layers of cheese cloth and pour the mixture through collecting the juice into a bowl. Let the strained mixture sit for a bit as the juice will continue to drain.
- When most of the juice has drained and the mixture has cooled, fold up the cheesecloth into a bag and gently squeeze to get the remaining juice and pulp.
- Put collected juice back into pot and add sugar to taste. I used only a 1/4 cup of sugar, you can add more later if needed. Bring back to a slight boil to make the mixture thicken up.
- When the mixture cooled a bit I poured into mason jars to store in the refrigerator. You can put into a canning bath to preserve the juice for later use, but I know it won't last long in my house so I just put it in the refrigerator.
The mixture you end up with is sort of a thick concentrate. To make juice I diluted it in 3 parts water. Add a fresh lemon slice and enjoy!
There is nothing more refreshing that a nice cool glass of raspberry juice on a hot summer day!