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Author Topic:   caramelizing sugar with lemon juice?
Ira
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Posts: 761
From:Between Klamath Falls & Ashland, Southern Oregon
Registered: Jun 99

posted August 07, 2005 02:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ira   Click Here to Email Ira     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm just curious - I've been making profiteroles lately and in researching plain ol' caramelized sugar many chefs recommend using a tiny bit of lemon juice with the dry method of caramel. None of the books however mention why the lemon juice is used - do any of you know???

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Bryguy
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From:Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
Registered: May 2003

posted August 07, 2005 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bryguy   Click Here to Email Bryguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ira
Good question. I believe it is to improve the colour of the caramel. Like you, I have never needed to use it.
God Bless
Bryguy

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ChefSteve
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From:Diamond Springs, Calif.
Registered: May 2003

posted August 07, 2005 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ChefSteve   Click Here to Email ChefSteve     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe the lemon splits the sugar into its component parts. The presence of the split sugar adds stability to the caramel and keeps it from crystallizing in the saucepan. Home recipes often call for the addition of corn syrup for this purpose.

Steve
'Round the Chuckbox -- a food blog

[This message has been edited by ChefSteve (edited August 07, 2005).]

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Bryguy
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From:Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
Registered: May 2003

posted August 07, 2005 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bryguy   Click Here to Email Bryguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ira
Extra note:
The lemon juice is part of the chemical
process of making caramel without so much
danger of crystalization.
Found this little blurb.
God Bless
Bryguy

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tyronebcookin
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Posts: 76
From:Alabama (but travel out of country most of the year)
Registered: Jun 2004

posted August 08, 2005 02:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tyronebcookin   Click Here to Email tyronebcookin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello Ira,

I can't retrieve the book right now (its packed away) but in 'The New Food Science' it explains this very same thing...

Probably as a replacement for Cream of Tartar:

I may be getting things mixed up, but remember when a pinch of cream of tarter was called for in making caramel? Used to speed up the browning/carmelizing process? Lemon juice is said to have the same effect as the cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar is also used to give a creamier texture to sugary things like candy and frosting

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar = 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or distilled white wine vinegar. But watch the vinegar taste that can be left behind in baked goods.


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Leo
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From:Chama,New Mexico, USA
Registered: May 2003

posted August 08, 2005 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good info...I knew about it but just don't as I do so little of that...when I do next will give it a try and check out the results...
Thanks!

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Ira
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From:Between Klamath Falls & Ashland, Southern Oregon
Registered: Jun 99

posted August 09, 2005 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ira   Click Here to Email Ira     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the info. Sounds like something I'm going to do a little side-by-side test with sometime.

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Leo
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From:Chama,New Mexico, USA
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posted August 09, 2005 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good Idea and whomever does this first let us know your results!

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1catman
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From:Garden Valley, Texas, USA
Registered: Aug 2005

posted August 17, 2005 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 1catman   Click Here to Email 1catman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ira: I'm running a few days behind, but, I always use a few drops of lemon juice whether I'm using the dry method, or sugar and water to make caramel. The acid in the juice inhibits crystalization. I haven't had a problem with it since I've used the juice. Of course, I always use the same pot, etc.
blessings,
blt

------------------
Ezekiel 36:24-36--A new heart will I give them.

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Leo
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From:Chama,New Mexico, USA
Registered: May 2003

posted September 03, 2005 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just made some pancake syrup....being out of the *good* stuff...haha...I basically made a burnt sugar syrup a few sherried precans to make *praline-ish*...remembering this post I added some juice and so far so good...as it cools and we use it on pancakes tommorrow I will edit this and let you know...
All for His Glory!
Thank you all for the inspiration and insights...It just made our breakfast better!

------------------
Hungry for Him,
Leo Griego
Member Support
leo@christianchefs.org
Work webpage:
www.nashvillerescuemission.org

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Leo
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Posts: 1155
From:Chama,New Mexico, USA
Registered: May 2003

posted September 07, 2005 02:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Leo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
OK been on a syrup binge of late...hehe
Just to share when I made the praline syrup I used the lemon...and the product came out perfect...
Yesterday I made a coffee syrup...tasted great but forgot the lemon...and the final product crystalized...I had to reheat the syrup to make it *presentable* I used it on one of the tiramisu inspired mascarpone pies I have been making...cheesecakey ...good!
Now I don't know if that would have made a difference and I may try reheating a small portion adding the lemon and see what happens...couldn't hurt I made about 2 cups way more than I need...in fact so much I use it to sweeten my coffee! I tastes great I made 3 cups triple strength coffee and added about 1/3 cup cracked coffee beans...and boiled it down with sugar...touch of salt...but no lemon...

------------------
Hungry for Him,
Leo Griego
Member Support
leo@christianchefs.org
Work webpage:
www.nashvillerescuemission.org

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