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Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

Posted by sundrops Z6 SW Indiana (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 28, 11 at 17:05

I really do not like the way lemon juice changes the flavor of my tomato products when canning.

Now the instructions I read says add lemon juice to the applesauce. Is this really necessary? I know we have to be concerned about the acid in stuff that is canned via BWB but I am beginning to wonder if it is really an issue with applesauce.

GRRRRRR! I guess my main concern is that I am out of it and really am disgusted with the idea of having to go to town to get it.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

NCHFP doesn't say anything about lemon juice for applesauce.

Interesting that Fresh Preserving DOES ask for it to be added to the pot of sauce. Hmmmm???

Where are you seeing this information? I'm at work and don't have my BBB in front of me, but should be the same as

I've never added it, per NCHFP.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP applesauce

RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

The Ball Complete Book calls for it. The BBB and NCHFP do not but will likely add it next.

I 'think' it is an attempt to cover those who use windfall apples (since they have always required additional acid) and who jar their sauce too thick. But it is your choice to add it or not.

You might want to consider investing in some citric acid for future use in both tomatoes and the applesauce. Personally I don't find any taste issues with lemon juice but the citric acid has much less taste effect.


RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

I am getting the info from the Ball Comp Bk of Home Preserving. I made applesauce last year but don't remember adding lemon juice and for the life of me can't remember what book I got my instructions from but I really liked it. I am terrible about collecting different ways of canning stuff. I have started laminating my favorite recipes and putting them in a book.

I can't even find applesauce in the Small Batch Preserving book by Ellie Topp. Surely I am just overlooking it. :(

I don't think I am going to add it since NCHFP does not require it.

It will be a while this evening before I am ready to put in the jars and will keep this forum open if anyone has any other suggestions or great insight.


RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

Well, the Ball book says that the lemon juice is not an option so its better to be safe than sorry so I added it. A little sugar and cinnamon and it tates wonderful the canner it goes.

Thanks to those who took the time to respond to my question.


RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

The Ball Complete Book follows the more conservative Bernardin/Canadian recommendation to add lemon juice.

As mentioned previously, it's entirely up to you. I'm sure that recommendation was introduced because many rural applesauce-makers would traditionally use the windfall/bruised apples for sauce, and those are less acid. If you are using prime unblemished apples it really isn't an issue.


RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

You don't need to add it to applesauce. I emailed Elizabeth Andress at the Univ. of Georgia. She said you do not need to add it.

RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

I never add it...and I use windfall apples. My applesauce has lasted for years and never caused a problem.

RE: Is lemon juice really necessary for applesauce?

It is strongly recommended when using windfall apples because of the borderline acid ph of them and the higher mold and bacterial count of windfalls.

The fact that it has "lasted for years and never caused a problem" may just be luck.


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