Lemons, so many lemons….

After The New Goodlife’s fabulous top 5 post about lemons earliers in the week and Bek from Bek’s Backyard’s adventures with Limoncello I thought it only appropriate I continue with the lemon theme for this week’s Thursday Kitchen Cupboard post.

My parents have two well established lemon trees at their place.  A large Eureka lemon and a much smaller but still very productive Meyer lemon.  Everytime I go to their place I come home with a bag of lemons and recently, given Mr 3’s penchant for lemon picking, the bags have been particular big.

I use a lot of lemons, in salad dressings, in marinades, with chicken, zest in pasta, to make lemonade, and in the occasional sweet dish.  This year I also decided to make limoncello for Christmas gifts.  You can see the rind marinating in vodka, on the left, in the picture below.  The other thing I made this week was a new batch of preserved lemon, that’s them in the jar on the right.

Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons are easy to make.  I use a fairly standard recipe and it always comes out well.  To make them: cut each lemon as though you were going to cut them into quarters but do not cut them completely through.  The lemons should open out at the top but be joined at the bottom.  Pour a tablespoon of salt into each lemon and then reform the lemon and place it into a sterilized glass jar.  Pack the jar full with as many lemons as will fit comfortably.  Then add as much lemon juice as you need to cover the lemons completely.

It is up to you whether or not to add spices, I sometimes do, sometimes don’t.  To this batch I added a teaspoon or so of both peppercorns and coriander seeds.

The preserved lemons will then need to sit for at least a month and its a good idea to give the bottle a quick shake every now and then.

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27 Responses to Lemons, so many lemons….

  1. A glut of lemons isn’t something that I’ve ever had to deal with but lemon curd and lemon tart are tempting thoughts.

  2. Mark Willis says:

    It would be hard to think of anything nicer to have a glut of!

  3. Nina says:

    Earlier in the year I had basically stripped my tree of lemons, from making preserved lemons and I had to resort to sourcing some from a friend. My tree is smothered again, now, thank goodness! Don’t you love the way a tree will have fruit at all the different stages, from buds right through to mature fruit? You know that more lemons aren’t too far off!

    A schnitzel without lemon squeezed over just isn’t right, somehow. Hmm, I think I’ve got dinner sorted for tonight.

    • Liz says:

      Lemons are great aren’t they. My own tree is still an infant but I am watching it set lemons at the moment. Hopefully it will be productive soon.

  4. Sarah says:

    I keep meaning to try making a jar of preserved lemons – you make it sound very easy.

  5. Susanna says:

    You’ll really enjoy using them … I have just poured the oil on my smoked salmon and cream cheese breakfast bagel.
    Or dice them finely and add to cous cous

  6. Maree says:

    Some great Christmas present ideas here!

  7. how lucky to have a lemon glut, just a handful of lemons to use here.The op-shops are great suppliers of late. I love limoncello, imagine the home made one will be amazing.

    • Liz says:

      Isn’t it lovely to go into an op shop to find a bowl of lemons on the counter. I’m hoping home -made limoncello will be fab – we shall see soon.

  8. Eek I have made both lemon cello and preserved lemons thanks to my clients lemon gluts (perhaps I really should put a lemon tree in at my place). In Sydney we have stupid cockatoos that seem to want to strip lemons from trees but seems they were better behaved last season.

    • Liz says:

      If you clients crops are reliable enough then perhaps save the space for something they don’t grow…. Mum and dad have had rats eat all the peel off some of their lemons at times but the cockatoos don’t seem to bother with them.

  9. We have a wonderful Meyer lemon in our garden in California. The last if the season’s fruits have finished, and we’re eagerly awaiting the new crop.

  10. John Cotterell says:

    Love the blog which I have just found. I thought I would pass on a very simple lemonade syrup recipe which I learnt in Piertermaritzburg, ZA when working there for a while.

    Take as many lemons as you feel like juicing.
    From each lemon take one strip of zest with a veg peeler from top to bottom.
    Juice lemons.
    Measure quantity of juice
    Measure exactly the same volume of water and same again of white sugar and add together. DO NOT TOUCH THE JUICE
    Bring water and sugar and the added zest mix to boil and let boil for 5-6 minutes then turn off heat and allow to cool completely.
    When sugar syrup has cooled completely add to the juice. You could strain the zest out but we don’t bother – it looks homey.
    Bottle and keep in fridge.
    4-5 parts of chilled water or soda to one of lemon syrup makes a cooling lemonade.
    50/50 with vodka makes a tasty limoncello
    It really could not be easier.
    I hope you like it

    • Liz says:

      Love the recipe – I will call my mum in the morning in the hope she’ll bring more lemons – this is definitely something I need to try soon. Thanks for sending the recipe – really appreciate both it and your feedback.

  11. John Cotterell says:

    Liz, this is all your fault! I started think about lemons more and the thought of lemon barley water popped into my head. Mum used to make it for us many years ago. So we bought some Bickford’s – very nice but only 0.4% barley flour. I had looked up the supposed benefits. Many touted by particularly the Indians so why not try a homemade one? I am getting to the lemons!
    Anyway I chose recipe off the web and was about to start on it when I saw McKemzie’s recipe on the pearl barley back. The principal difference was they boiled the barley for an hour rather than just 10-20 minutes – so I reckoned that was really getting the good out of it.

    Finally here is the recipe.
    1 cup of pearl barley
    Rind of one medium lemon – use a veg peeler
    10 cups of water
    1 cup of lemon juice – this may take 5-7 lemons.
    1 cup of sugar

    Put the barley in a sieve and wash it thoroughly under running water while picking out any foreign bits

    Now put barley in the saucepan you are going to cook it in just cover it with cold water. Bring it to the boil take it off the heat, strain it and put it back in the saucepan.
    I have no idea what this about but I reckon McKenzie’s know what they are doing, so do it
    Add the sugar to the water together with the zest, bring to boil and simmer for one hour. Yes one hour.
    At the end of the hour let the syrup cool down.
    When the syrup is cool stir in the juice
    Finally strain the mix and put in bottles and into fridge,
    A few points about this-
    When the bottled juice is chilled the insoluble dietary fibre settles in the bottom of the bottle. This is good for you so shake the bottle before you pour a drink.
    It is not a syrup, you drink it just as it comes out of the bottle.
    What happens to the strained out barley. Well it is delicious, its is like a barley dessert so I put a bit of cream on it and ate – I am now, theoretically, bursting with health.
    One last thing, the reason for not mixing the lemon into the syrup until the syrup is cold (same as in lemonade syrup recipe) is heat destroys vitamin C so by mixing when cold you get all the vitamin.
    I think this counts for your lemon theme becaise it uses 6-7 lemons and anyway it is delicious and homemade and its good for you.
    Not much more could you want,eh?
    Regards, John


    • Liz says:

      I have to admit to buying Bickfords periodically so this recipe is much appreciated! I’ll set aside a day for its manufacture though – it doesn’t sound quick. Now I just need to think of something to entertain the children with while I make it…..

  12. John Cotterell says:

    Hi Liz
    The time taken is less than half an hour of prep. The rest is waiting while boiling and waiting for cool down.

    Sit out in the sun with a good book or admire your brilliant tomatoes – I’m green with envy!

    Regards, John

    • Liz says:

      A good book – now that would be lovely, more likely I’ll spend the time oicking up the detritis that covers the floor in my house courtesy of Miss 6 and Mr 3.

  13. John Cotterell says:

    Hi! Preserved lemons are the way to go if you have too many or you just want to make them for future cooking but consider what happens to a preserved lemon when it is ready to be used in cooking.
    – Cut the quarter out, lay it on its back.
    – Scrape/cut all the soggy inside flesh off with a spoon
    – Slide a knife under it and carefully slice the skin off
    What is now left is the pristine rind. If what is left is all that was wanted why go to the time- and space-wasting bother of jamming it into jars in quarters routine?
    Why, because since the first cook published ‘the quarter method’ it has, as often happens in the cooking/cookbook world, been copied religiously and eventually becomes the conventional wisdom?
    Having thought about that I tried simply laying the lemons on their sides cut into quarters packed between suitable layers of salt.
    The result the preserved lemon rind from this method are indistinguishable from rinds from the quarter method. Really there is no reason they should by.
    Further results, saved jar useage; saved space in fridge; saved fiddling about jamming salt down inside lemons – just sprinkle; saved effort fishing out a jammed in whole lemon when all you want is a quarter.
    This also works well with limes which I often use in a roast chook because I think its tastier than lemons – but that’s just me

    Many regards , John

    • Liz says:

      I have to admit I often get over zealous with my slicing and the whole quarters thing becomes four plus pieces and you are absolutely right – I’ve never been able to tell the difference either. Equally I will put other size bits in to fill up the jar etc.

  14. John Cotterell says:

    Hi Liz
    This may sound a weird question but I have not been able to get a definite answer anywhere as to the name of the wire sprung jars shown in the photo above. I think they are kilner jars but googling that gets a different jar on occasions. What say you? Or any readers for that matter.
    Many regards, John

    • Liz says:

      Ooo I have to admit I’m not sure, I just call them rubber sealed jars but they probably do have a more ‘official’ name. Swing top jars?

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