Apple Juice and Cider

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Apple juice can be either opalescent or clear depending on whether its pectins and proteins are left intact to deflect light rays. Made fresh, it will stay pale and retain its fresh flavor for about an hour, after which the darkening and aroma-modifying influences of enzymes and oxygen become evident. Browning can be minimized by heating the juice rapidly to the boil to inactivate the browning enzymes, but of course this lends a cooked flavor to the juice. Pasteurized apple juice was first manufactured around 1900 in Switzerland, and is now one of the most important commercial fruit products in the United States. Cider is still an important product in northwest Spain, western France, and England, where the traditional method was to let the fruit pulp ferment slowly through the cold winter, reaching an alcohol content around 4%.