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How much lemon juice to add to canned apples?

Canned apples are a popular and convenient way to enjoy this juicy and flavorful fruit all year round. Whether you’re making apple sauce, apple pie filling, or just preserving apple slices for later use, adding lemon juice to the recipe is an important step to maintain the quality and safety of your canned apples.

Lemon juice is a natural source of citric acid, which helps to prevent the apple slices from turning brown, a process known as enzymatic browning. This discoloration not only affects the visual appeal of your canned apples but also alters the taste and texture of the fruit. By adding the right amount of lemon juice to your recipe, you can preserve the natural color, flavor, and texture of the apples and enhance their nutritional value.

In this article, we’ll discuss how much lemon juice to add to canned apples, why it’s necessary, and some tips for working with canned apples.

Why Add Lemon Juice to Canned Apples?

Lemon juice is a common ingredient in canning recipes as it helps to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds that can spoil the canned food. It also inhibits the activity of enzymes that can break down the food and cause it to lose its quality over time.

When you cut or slice apples, they release an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) that reacts with the oxygen in the air and turns the flesh brown. This process is known as enzymatic browning and can affect the flavor, texture, and nutritional value of the fruit. By adding lemon juice to the apple slices, you lower the pH level of the fruit and create an acidic environment that inhibits the activity of PPO.

Lemon juice contains about 5% to 6% citric acid, which is sufficient to prevent enzymatic browning in most recipes. However, the amount of lemon juice required depends on several factors such as the type of apples, their ripeness, and the recipe you’re using.

How Much Lemon Juice to Add to Canned Apples?

The recommended amount of lemon juice to add to canned apples varies between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per pint (2 cups) or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per quart (4 cups) of sliced apples. However, some recipes may call for more or less lemon juice depending on the acidity of the fruit and the recipe’s pH level.

For tart or acidic apples such as Granny Smith, you may need less lemon juice to prevent browning than for sweet or mild apples like Golden Delicious. Similarly, if you’re using a recipe with a low pH level (below 4.6), you may need to add more lemon juice to ensure the safety and stability of the canned apples.

To determine the right amount of lemon juice for your recipe, refer to a reputable canning guide or consult with an expert in canning. You can also test the pH level of your recipe using a pH meter or test strips. The pH should be below 4.6 to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms.

Tips for Working With Canned Apples

Here are some tips for working with canned apples:

  • Choose fresh and ripe apples that are free from bruises or cuts.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands and equipment before handling the apples.
  • Peel, core, and slice the apples evenly for uniform cooking and canning.
  • Pre-treat the apple slices with lemon juice to prevent enzymatic browning.
  • Choose a canning method that’s appropriate for your recipe, such as water bath canning or pressure canning.
  • Select clean and sterilized jars and lids that fit your recipe’s measurements.
  • Fill the jars with the apple slices and syrup or liquid of your choice, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles and wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth.
  • Process the jars according to your recipe’s instructions, and store them in a cool and dark place for up to a year or more.
  • Discard any jars with signs of spoilage, such as bubbling, leaking, or unusual odor or appearance.


Adding lemon juice to canned apples is a simple and effective way to prevent enzymatic browning and ensure the quality and safety of your canned fruit. By following the recommended amount and tips for working with canned apples, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious apples all year round. Whether you’re making pies, sauces, or snacks, canned apples are a versatile and handy ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. So next time you’re canning apples, don’t forget to add a splash of lemon juice – your taste buds and eyes will thank you!


How much lemon juice to keep apples from browning?

Apples are a favorite fruit for many people; they are delicious, healthy and available all year round. However, after cutting an apple into slices, it doesn’t take long before the exposed flesh starts to turn brown due to a process called enzyme browning. This natural process doesn’t necessarily affect the taste of the apples but can make them unappealing, especially for serving to others. Fortunately, there is a simple solution to prevent apples from browning, and that is using lemon juice.

To use this method to prevent apples from turning brown, create a water bath for your apple slices with a ratio of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of water. You can adjust this ratio based on the number of apples or slices you have to soak.

Start by mixing the lemon juice and water in a bowl that is large enough to hold the apple slices without overflowing. Then, place the sliced apples into the mixture and stir gently so that all the apple slices are coated with the lemon juice and water mixture. Allow the apples to soak for 3 to 5 minutes; this soaking time should be enough to ensure that all the apple slices are well-coated.

After the soaking time, remove the apple slices from the mixture and rinse them with tap water to remove any excess lemon juice and water. Once rinsed, you can pat-dry the apple slices with a towel before serving them.

This simple step should keep your apples from browning for several hours, making them look and taste fresh. The reason why lemon juice works in preventing apple browning is that it contains vitamin C, which is a natural antioxidant that inhibits enzymes that cause the browning process. Moreover, the acid in the lemon juice also denatures the enzymes responsible for the browning process, thus slowing down the reaction.

Using lemon juice to prevent apple browning is an easy and effective method that requires just a few simple steps. By following the right ratio of lemon juice to water suggested, you can keep your apples looking fresh for several hours, making them a perfect choice in salads, desserts or as a snack.

How long do you water bath apples when canning?

Water bath canning is a method of preserving food by using a large pot of boiling water to create a seal around the jars, preventing contamination and allowing the food to be shelf-stable for extended periods. Apples are a popular fruit to can, as they can be used in a variety of recipes and provide a tasty snack when canned on their own.

To water bath apples, there are several steps to follow. First, the apples should be washed and peeled, if desired. They can then be sliced, cored, or left whole depending on personal preference and the intended use of the apples.

Next, the apples should be prepared for canning. This involves packing them into jars, leaving a small amount of headspace at the top to allow for expansion during the canning process. A liquid can then be added to the jars, such as water, juice, or a syrup made from sugar and water.

Once the jars are filled and ready to be canned, they should be placed into a large pot of boiling water. The water should be deep enough to fully submerge the jars and there should be a rack or towel at the bottom of the pot to prevent the jars from touching the bottom directly.

The jars should then be allowed to process in the boiling water for the recommended amount of time. Pint and quart jars of filled apples should be processed for 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner. The timing should start once the water has returned to a boil after the jars have been added.

After the processing time is complete, the jars should be removed from the pot using jar lifters and allowed to cool on a towel or rack. Once cooled, the jars should be checked for a proper seal by pressing down on the lid. If the lid does not move or make a popping sound, then a seal has been created and the apples are safely preserved for long-term storage.

How do you keep apples from turning brown when canning?

When canning apples, preventing them from turning brown is important for both aesthetic and flavor reasons. The browning of apples is caused by an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which reacts with the oxygen in the air. To prevent this reaction from occurring, there are several methods that can be used.

One of the most effective ways to prevent browning in apples when canning is to treat them with an ascorbic acid solution. Ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C, prevents the oxidation that leads to browning. You can purchase ascorbic acid in powder form from a grocery store or pharmacy. To create the solution, you can mix one tablespoon of ascorbic acid powder with one quart of cold water. Dip the apple slices in the solution for a few minutes before packing them in jars for canning.

Another method to keep apples from browning is to soak the cut fruit in a saltwater solution. This method works by drawing out the excess moisture and creating an acidic environment that inhibits the enzyme responsible for browning. To create a saltwater solution, mix half a teaspoon of kosher salt per cup of water. Soak the apple slices in the solution for about 10 minutes, then drain and pack into jars for canning.

Lastly, you can also prevent browning by heating the apple slices in boiling water for a few minutes before canning. This method effectively denatures the polyphenol oxidase enzyme that causes browning. To do this, blanch the apple slices for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, then cool under cold running water and drain before canning.

There are several ways to prevent apples from turning brown when canning. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to try out each method and see which is more effective for your needs.

How long do you have to boil a bath for canning?

When it comes to canning, the process of boiling, or “processing” as it is known, is essential to ensure the safety and longevity of the preserved food. Canning is a process that involves removing air from the jar and creating a vacuum seal to prevent the growth of bacteria.

The process of boiling a bath for canning involves filling a large pot with water and bringing it to a rolling boil before submerging the filled and sealed jars of food in the water. The length of time that you should boil the bath will vary depending on the size of the jars you are using.

If you are using 4-, 8-, or 12-ounce jars, you should bring the bath to a rolling boil, cover the canner, and boil for 10 minutes. If you are using 16-ounce jars, you will need to boil the bath for 15 minutes. It is important, however, to check individual preserve recipes for more specific processing times, as some recipes may require longer or shorter boiling times depending on the type of food being preserved.

It is also essential to remember that the processing time should only start once the water has reached a rolling boil, and not from the time the jars are submerged in the water. Once the boiling time is complete, let the jars cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the pot.

Boiling a bath for canning is a necessary step in preserving food, and the length of time required will depend on the size of the jars being used. It is important to follow individual recipes for specific instructions on processing times to ensure the preservation of the food and the safety of those who will be consuming it.

How long do you process applesauce in a hot water bath canner?

When it comes to canning applesauce, it is important to ensure that you are following all the proper steps for safe food preservation. One important step is to process the applesauce in a hot water bath canner for the appropriate amount of time.

The process for canning applesauce begins with preparing the applesauce and filling the jars with it. Leave a 1/2 inch of headspace at the top to allow for expansion during the canning process. It is also important to remove any air bubbles by using a small rubber spatula to scrape down the inside of the jar. This ensures that the applesauce is evenly distributed and that the jars are sealed correctly.

Once the jars are filled and the air bubbles removed, wipe the rims clean to ensure the lids will seal properly. Place the jars into a water-bath canner, ensuring that the jars are covered with at least 1-2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and continue to process the jars for the recommended amount of time.

For applesauce, the recommended processing time in a hot water bath canner is 20 minutes. This ensures that the applesauce is heated to the appropriate temperature to kill any bacteria or microorganisms that may be present. It is important to note that the processing time may vary depending on the altitude of your location, so it is important to consult your local canning guidelines for specific instructions.

After the processing time is complete, carefully remove the jars from the canner using jar tongs and place them on a clean towel to cool. It is important to let the jars cool completely before checking the seal on the lids. Once cooled, check the seal by pressing down on the center of the lid. If the lid does not move, the seal is secure and the applesauce can be stored for future use.

Proper processing time in a hot water bath canner is crucial for safe and effective canning of applesauce. By following the recommended processing time and proper canning techniques, you can ensure that your applesauce is safely preserved and ready to enjoy.