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Old 03-17-2005, 07:58 AM   #1
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Question Lemon juice replacer for jam?

Hi everyone,

I am wondering if it is possible to omit (entirely) the lemon juice in homemade jam and jelly recipes?

What is the purpose of the lemon juice; does it help to set the Certo better?

Does anyone have any recipes for jams that do not use lemon (or other citrus juices)?

Thank-you for any thoughts on this subject,

Happy cooking to all! :)

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Old 03-17-2005, 09:48 AM   #2
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The lemon juice will make a real difference in the flavor of the fruit you're canning. It brings out the natural fruit flavor of the berry or fruit.

I believe it also contributes to keeping the color of the fruit, preventing it from darkening.

If you don't have lemon, another citrus product would do. You could try lime.
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:56 AM   #3
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Certo [tm] needs both acid and sugar to set up correctly.

Other brands of pectin (and Certo Lite or whatever it's called) need less sugar but still need acid, as far as I know.

The amount of acid depends on what fruit or vegetable you are working with.

It's always best to follow the recipe exactly, although, like Andy said, it may be possible to sub another acidic fruit juice.
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:13 PM   #4
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I think I have heard of people using just plain acetic acid (what is actually in the fruit...without the fruit). As to where you would get some I would not have any idea whatsoever.
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Old 03-17-2005, 07:31 PM   #5
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I agree with andym the lemon helps pull out the flavor.Im curious why would you not want to use lemon?:)
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:06 AM   #6
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Things canned in a water bath ... like jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves, etc. need a certain pH. If the pH is off ... not acidic enough ... you're creating biotoxin "bombs".

If you're using pectins .. like Certo .. it might not jell if the pH isn't right.

If you're new to canning, ESPECIALLY, follow the directions exactly!

The thought of adding lemon juice might sound a little "off" - but trust me .. there is a reason for it .. and it won't taste like lemonade - and you probably won't even taste it.
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:49 AM   #7
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Hi everyone,

Yikes! I didn't realize how vital lemon juice was to jam! Thank-you for all your replies!

I have to really watch the amount of acidic foods I eat, so I think I will just hunt down jam recipes with as little lemon juice as possible, I think I'll contact Certo too and see if they have any ideas.

Interestingly in old, old cookbooks I have encountered jam recipes that do not call for lemon juice, basically they consist of fruit, sugar, and sometimes water - which are all combined and boiled down. Would this only work if you were planning to eat the jam within a couple days?

As well does it matter if it is what's termed "freezer jam"? I mean, does freezing it reduce the risk of "bio toxin bombs" as Michael wisely pointed out.

I'm not concerned about the taste, I actually love the flavour of lemon, it's just that for medical reasons (not fad diet, real medical) I follow a diet which is very low in acid.

Thanks again for your replies everyone,

Happy cooking to all :)
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:34 AM   #8
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IC, here is a link to a lot of freezer jams. It looks like the ones using Certo & Sure Jell use less lemon juice than the others. I hope this helps you out some!!:)

http://www.kraftfoods.com/recipes/Ja...erJamsJellies/

This one does not use any lemon juice.

CERTO® Cinnamon Apple Freezer Jelly
Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 24 hr 20 min
Makes: about 4 (1-cup) containers or 64 servings, 1 Tbsp. each





1-3/4 cups bottled apple juice

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3-3/4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl

1 pouch CERTO Fruit Pectin

RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

MEASURE apple juice and cinnamon into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

ADD pectin; stir 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)

FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jelly is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:42 AM   #9
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This appears to be an American site ('cups' instead of metric or imperial measurements!) - and the first few recipes do not appear to use added lemon juice.

http://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheets/HGIC3200.htm
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:50 AM   #10
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Ishbel, that site is from the college just a few miles from my house!:)
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