making fruit juice concentrate
(I’m posting this Kitchen Help along with this one to prepare for a recipe I’ll be posting soon.)
Ever since I did a three-month fast from sugar (including maple syrup, honey, agave, and for the first two month, dried fruits), I haven’t had much desire to incorporate back into my diet. Not only did eliminating sugar eliminate a very annoying problem, I found it also drastically reduced my anxiety.
However, the challenge is finding new ways to sweeten recipes (which is why I enjoy this one so much). Fruit juice to the rescue!
White grape juice is especially sweet, but I’ve found it difficult to find it as a concentrate in the frozen foods section. Which leaves making my own. It’s a simple process and all you need is a little third grade math. It’s always best to use organic juices because of pesticides, but if your budget doesn’t allow for the splurge, use regular juice instead.
How to Make your own fruit juice concentrate
1. Determine how much concentrate is require for your recipe and multiply by three. So if you need 1/2 cup of concentrate, you will need 1.5 cups of fruit juice.
2. Pour fruit juice into a pot and bring to a boil.
3. Simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid reduces by two-thirds. Therefore, if you started with 1.5 cups of juice, your goal is to boil away the water until you are left with 1/3 cup of concentrate.
4. Cool before using.
(This really is an easy process but I share the following notes based on past experiencing of almost ruining a pot because I didn’t pay close attention as the juice was boiling.)
I recommend checking a few times during the reducing process to see how close you are to the desired concentrate amount as it’s easy to boil away too much water. It’s best to pour the liquid into a metal measuring cup with a pie tin or other pot underneath it to catch any spilled liquid. If you need to further reduce the juice, simply pour all liquid back into the pan.
Watch the liquid carefully and stir occasionally, especially as the liquid approaches a concentrate since the sugars in the juice can burn.
I often will reduce a larger quantity of juice than my recipe calls for and will freeze the extra. However, reducing a larger quantity of juice takes longer and I suggest reducing the heat to medium low once your close to the concentrate stage to avoid burning the sugars in the juice.