Just trying to figure a few things out
I was hoping someone (ahem... Dave or Carol maybe wink wink...) may be able to explain a few things to me.
So obviously it is apple week. I have done applesauce, apple butter, and am now working on apple jelly.
I followed Ball's Complete Book Of Home Preserving and did applesauce first. Pretty simple. Apples - lemon juice, I don't use sugar it is optional and most this is eaten by my 2 and 3 year olds and they don't need any more sugar to out run me. Process 20 minutes. Ball states lemon juice is NOT optional it is needed for added acidity.
Next sweet apple cider butter. Also pretty simple and I also opted for their low sugar option - 6lb apples - 2 cups sweet apple cider - 1 cup honey - cinnamon - cloves. Process 10 minutes.
Now, my confusion lies in the fact that apple butter gets cooked down to a much thicker consistency than applesauce. I can only assume that the sweet apple cider is somewhat acidic, but it is also mostly apples so how acidic could it be and how do they know what the acidity level is of ALL apple cider. And there is a variation at the bottom of the recipe for the "traditional" version which does not use any cider and just uses water and does not increase the processing time any. 10 minutes just seems very short.
This is for my own curious mind. I have already processed the jars for 20 minutes for my own piece of mind. I figured it cooked down on the stove for so long a little longer in the water bath couldn't hurt it too much for me not to worry about feeding it to my toddlers.
Also, I had another thread where I inquired about a low sugar apple jelly recipe. (I am really no a horrible mother who never lets her kids eat sugar, we just prefer our sugar in things like cake and cookies.) Anyway, planatus responded and gave me her recipe using Pamona Pectin and pointed out that Pamona Pectin said you had to use lemon juice. I went to their web site and they do say that for tart apples you don't, but for sweet apples (unless I am translating their "recipe card" incorrectly) you need to use 1/4 cup lemon juice for every 4 cups apple juice. This makes me wonder why Ball doesn't tell me this. I am going to add the lemon juice because it makes sense that if they want me to add it when I make applesauce with or without sugar, then it would be warranted in a low sugar jelly right?
My plan for my apple jelly tomorrow is:
8 cups apple juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar
Does anyone see a problem with this plan or have a suggestion?
Again, thanks in advance for your help. You all have been a great help.