As a follow up to my recent blog about bottling citrus, I wanted to also share the instructions for bottling citrus juice. I did orange and grapefruit juices but the process is the same. Again, there are the instructions for this in the Ball Blue Book for canning. (You really need to have this book in your library! http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-blue-book-guide-to-preserving/shop/229696/ )
Bottling Grapefruit Juice
Wash grapefruit and drain. Extract juice from fruit and strain. Combine juice with sugar to taste if desired, (*I did not add any sugar to mine. I like it a bit tart anyway.)
Heat juice for 5 minutes or until it reaches the temperature of 190°. DO NOT LET IT BOIL! Meanwhile, warm up the jars in a warm oven or dishwasher.
Ladle hot juice into warmed jars, leaving a ¼ inch head space. Adjust 2 piece caps as usual onto the jars and process pints and quarts for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
That is it! Easy peasy! Now you will have your “fresh squeezed” juice all summer long. It has only been a month since I did mine and it tastes as fresh as the day I squeezed it and bottled it.
The best way I have found for preserving lemons is to simply clean the fruit and pop them into a freezer zip lock bag and put them in the freezer. You usually don’t need much lemon juice to use in recipes so it isn’t worth bottling it. Then anytime I need lemon juice, I pull out 1-3 lemons a couple of hours ahead of time and let them thaw. I get all the juice I need. The only thing this doesn’t work for is if you need some lemon zest. The thawed lemon peel is too mushy to get zest off of it.
Anyway, I hope you will try your hand at bottling citrus, whether you grow it or purchase it when it is on sale and it will save you a lot of money!