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3 Easy Ways to Make Apple Pie with No Lemon Juice

3 Easy Ways to Make Apple Pie with No Lemon Juice

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Many of us grew up eating and loving apple pie. There’s nothing that can quite match the warm feeling you get after the first bite of the sugary treat.

However, when you find the dessert a little too tangy, you can tweak the recipe. So, if you’re figuring out how to make an apple pie with no lemon juice, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s take a look at why we use citrus fruit to flavor a pie. We’ll also dive into what you can use as a substitute.

Lemon Juice in Apple Pies

Over the years, people have come up with hundreds of versions of the classic apple pie recipe. However, there are a few ingredients that are always the same.

When it comes to the filling, the main ingredients are apple, butter, sugar, spices, and lemon juice.

As you can tell by the recipe, the only liquid we use is a citrus extract. It’ll bind the components together and create a smooth mixture.

This makes for a delicious pie with a tangy aftertaste.

On top of that, the lemon juice will affect the consistency of the filling. It’ll allow you to spread the mixture around in the crust without breaking it apart.

In addition, the extract ensures the filling can flow into every nook and cranny of the pasty.

This will ensure that the dessert doesn’t dry out in the oven as it bakes. Doing so will result in a crispy, flaky apple pie.

Lemon Juice Components

In order to figure out what to use instead of lemon juice, you have to understand why we use the ingredient. To help with that, let’s take a look at the components of the extract.

As you can guess, water makes up the majority of lemon juice. It gives the liquid its consistency and allows minerals to stay in suspension.

Other than that, the extract consists of sugars, citric acid, amino acids, and vitamins.

The sugars add an extra layer of sweetness to your pie. This is an excellent way to counterbalance the acidity of the pastry.

Moving on, the amino acids and vitamins boost the nutritional value of the dessert. This may not sound like a big deal, but it’ll make you feel better about sneaking that extra slice of pie.

As for citric acid, it acts as a leavening agent. That means it’ll help the crust rise as it bakes. This component is crucial if you like a fluffy crust.

Plus, citric acid is what gives the fruit its tangy edge, and it slows down gluten development. Doing so will ensure the crust isn’t chewy, but flaky.

On top of that, lemon juice contains phenolic compounds. These are incredibly powerful antioxidants.

Not only will they stop the apples from browning, but they are also good for you.

Baking Apple Pies With No Lemon Juice

Now that we’ve covered why lemon juice is crucial, we can jump into the substitutes you can use.

Before you start gathering your ingredients, there are a few considerations to make.

For starters, it’s a good idea to take the browning of the apples into account. You’ll need another antioxidant to make sure the fruit slices don’t break down into a paste in the oven.

Other than that, we have to consider the consistency of the filling. That means we have to add another liquid element to make up for the lost moisture.

With all that in mind, let’s dive into how to make apple pie with no lemon.

1 – Citrus Fruits

If your issue with the ingredient is the flavor, then you may want to try out other citrus fruits. That includes:

  • Oranges
  • Key limes
  • Clementines
  • Grapefruit

These will have a similar composition to lemon juice, with a different flavor. For that reason, you won’t have to change the proportions of the recipe.

Here’s an example of what the recipe may look like:

  • 3 pounds of apples (sliced)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed citrus juice

You can even try a combination of a few different fruits to create a new flavor profile. This will add a little dimension to the delicious dessert.

Although, you have to make sure you don’t add too much liquid. If not, the filling will be too runny and soak into the crust.

2 – Citric Acid and Water

Instead of using lemon juice, you can simply add citric acid powder. This will help stop the apples from browning and help the pastry rise.

However, it’ll affect the consistency of the filling, so you’ll need extra moisture.

As an example, you can try out this recipe:

  • 3 pounds of apples (sliced)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of citric acid powder
  • 2 tablespoons of water

If you take a close look at the recipe, you’ll notice we increased the amount of sugar. This is in an effort to replace the sweetness from the missing fruit.

Just be sure to mix the citric acid and water before you add them to the recipe. Otherwise, the powder may clump up and make for a lumpy pie.

3 – Vinegar

Another great substitute for lemon juice is vinegar. It has a similar acidic profile with a tart aftertaste.

The vinegar will stop the apples from oxidizing and will balance out the sweetness of the dish.

To test it out, you can try this recipe:

  • 3 pounds of apples (sliced)
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar

The main drawback of using vinegar is that it’s incredibly overpowering. If you add a touch more than a couple of tablespoons, it can overwhelm your pie.

On top of that, the ingredient doesn’t add any new flavor dimensions. This may result in a flat-tasting dessert.

In addition, you’ll have to increase the amount of sugar in the recipe, which may slightly dry it out.

Final Thoughts

Figuring out how to make apple pie with no lemon juice can be a little tricky. You’ll need to find a substitute that won’t affect the flavor or consistency of the recipe.

To do that, you have to take into account how the extract behaves in the dessert.

An easy replacement is any type of citrus fruit. You can use the juice of an orange, or even a clementine.

Other than that, you can try out citric acid and water, or vinegar as substitutes.

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