Product Type: Jif Baking & Ingredients
Newest Review: ... small and cute that it takes up hardly any room anyway. Lots of people only use these Jif Lemons for pancakes on Shrove Tuesday but as we... more
Lemon juice in a Jiffy!
Jif Lemon Juice
Member Name: herumi
Jif Lemon Juice
Advantages: Convenient, easy to use, tastes good in recipes or on its own
Disadvantages: Doesn't have that fresh bite to it, contains a preservative
I love baking- it's fun, satisfying, and, what's more, you get something delicious (well, hopefully!) out of it at the end. A surprising number of cake recipes have lemon in them, and I've been thwarted many a time by not having a lemon to hand for that particularly delicious recipe I was hoping to make. Which is why I invested in a bottle of Jif.
This wasn't an investment on a large scale- a 250ml bottle of this cost me a mere 72p from Sainsburys, not bad considering you'd pay nearly as much for 2 lemons. This also comes in a plastic lemon if you like that kind of thing, but that was nearly the same price as the bottle for just 55g, so I went for the less novel version.
The bottle is made of green glass, with a yellow twist-off cap, so it looks very vibrant and fresh. The blurb on the front informs you that this is 'natural strength lemon juice', whilst the side states that it's 'made with concentrated lemon juice'. Hmmm, all a bit confusing, but I'm guessing they used concentrated lemon juice to make it, then diluted it to natural strength. The ingredients are lemon juice (surprise surprise) and preservative (E223), so be warned- this isn't an all natural product.
The juice inside looks very much like ordinary lemon juice- pale yellow, thin and watery. It doesn't smell particularly lemony, but has a very mild and slightly manufactured smell to it.
The instructions for use are simple- substitute the juice of one lemon for two tablespoons of Jif. Pouring out the lemon juice into the spoon is easy- once you've removed the cap, the juice comes out of a small opening, with a round end (for pouring a little out) and a thin end (for getting drops out one at a time). It's good to have such control, as tipping a load of extra lemon in by accident could seriously scupper your cake! The dropper side is particularly useful for sprinkling this juice on pancakes or over a salad to zing it up a bit.
I've never had any problems using these guidelines. Using 1 tablespoonful of this in cooking instead of the juice of half a lemon gives just the right amount of flavour. The flavour itself is very lemony- tangy and vibrant, although I do think it lacks a bit of the kick you'd get from a fresh lemon. This is particularly noticable when you use this on its own (as opposed to in a recipe) for panckes etc- it tastes slightly mellower than fresh lemon juice would, and not quite as natural. Still, it's pleasant enough, and will quickly liven up sauces or dressings with its citrussy taste.
In an ideal world, I'd use real lemons all the time, but it's not really practical to keep a stash of lemons in the fruit bowl for the odd recipe. Plus, it always seems a bit of a waste juicing a lemon, then throwing away the rest of it. Despite lacking the intense zestiness of fresh lemon juice, this is really useful to have in, and it can be stored conveniently in the fridge for a good few months once open, which means that getting through the bottle is no trouble. This is well worth the cost, and has saved me from many a culinary catastrophe, so I'd definitely recommend it. although I have knocked a mark off for the slight reduction in flavour.
Summary: A baking essential
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