Surprising Reasons So Many Apple Pie Recipes Call For Lemon

Slice of apple pie

Have you ever wondered why do some apple pie recipes call for lemon juice? Find out the surprising role lemon plays in elevating the flavor of your apple pie and how to use it in your baking.

Apple pie is a classic American dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. But have you ever noticed that some recipes call for the addition of lemon juice? This may seem like a small detail, but the role of lemon in an apple pie is much more significant than you may think. In this article, we’ll explore why lemon is an important ingredient in apple pie recipes and how it can elevate the flavor of your pie.

Lemon Juice Slows The Oxidisation of Apple Slices

When cut apples are exposed to air, they will naturally start to brown due to oxidation. The acid in the lemon juice can slow down this process, keeping the apple slices looking fresh and appealing. By adding lemon juice to your apple pie recipe, you can help to ensure that your pie looks as delicious as it tastes.

Fun fact, the reason lemon juice tastes sour is that it contains 5% to 6% citric acid and has a pH of 2.2 (high acidity). This explains why you see people pull a face when they bite into a lemon wedge. Tequila anyone?

Lemon Juice Helps with Balancing Flavors

One of the main reasons lemon is used in apple pie recipes is to balance the flavors. Apple pie filling is typically made with a mixture of apples, sugar, and spices. While these ingredients create a delicious filling, they can also result in a filling that is too sweet or overpowering. The acidity in lemon juice helps to balance out the sweetness of the filling and provides a contrast to the spices. This creates a more harmonious flavor profile that is pleasing to the palate.

Lemon Adda a Touch of Zing

Another reason to add lemon juice to your apple pie recipe is to add a touch of zing. The tart and tangy flavor of lemon adds a burst of flavor that complements the sweetness of the pie and makes it more interesting. This can be especially helpful if you are using a sweeter variety of apples, as the lemon juice will help to balance out the sweetness.

Top Tips for Using Lemon in Your Apple Pie Recipes

If you’re unsure about using lemon in your apple pie recipes, here are three top tips to help you:

  1. Use fresh lemon juice: For the best results, it’s important to use fresh lemon juice in your pie. Fresh lemon juice has a brighter and more intense flavor than bottled juice.
  2. Adjust the amount of lemon juice based on the sweetness of your apples: If you are using a sweeter variety of apples, you may want to use less lemon juice in your recipe. If you are using a tart variety of apples, you may want to use more lemon juice to balance out the flavors.
  3. Experiment with different amounts of lemon juice: Different amounts of lemon juice will result in different levels of tartness in your pie. Experiment with different amounts of lemon juice to find the flavor that you prefer.

Final Thoughts

Lemon juice may seem like a small detail in an apple pie recipe, but its role is much more significant than you may think. By balancing flavours, preventing browning and adding a touch of zing, lemon juice can take your apple pie to the next level. So next time you make an apple pie, consider adding some lemon juice and see how it changes the flavor. Your taste buds will thank you!

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