Golden Raspberry pH
Hello! I have a friend who wants to make golden raspberry jam, but I’ve heard golden raspberries are lower acid than red ones. I can’t find a pH specifically for golden raspberries anywhere. Can you tell me if it’s safe to simply substitute golden raspberries for red raspberries in a tested jam recipe? Thank you! Holly Jablonski
Volusia County Florida
You are right! In order to get a jellied product, a proper ratio of fruit, pectin, acid and sugar is needed. So, you are right to question about the pH. When fruits are low in acid, lemon juice or citric acid may be used. Although I could not find information on the acidity of golden raspberries, regular raspberries fall into a list of common fruits used to make jelly that always need added acid, pectin or both.
There is no home test to determine the amount of acid present in a fruit or juice. But you can do a simple taste test for tartness by mixing 1 teaspoon lemon juice with 3 Tablespoons water and ½ teaspoon sugar. If your fruit juice does not taste as tart as this mixture, it is not tart enough. Add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or 1/8 teaspoon citric acid to each cup of juice. This test can be used for jelly or jam.
Consider using commercially prepared pectin. It has been my pal in ensuring that I have a consistently good product. Follow the directions found in the box (you will add lemon juice).
Also consider refrigerator/freezer jams that can be made from fresh berries. Just a reminder that these are kept up to three weeks in a refrigerator and up to a year in a freezer. They are not shelf stable and should be refrigerated once opened. If you are looking for research-based recipes check out the national center for home food preservation at https://nchfp.uga.edu/
Remember we typically don’t have bacterial growth on high acid foods (fruits, jams, or foods we add acid to) but you could see mold. When mold is present, you need to discard the product (you can’t just scrape off the top layer!)