I’m not lucky enough to have a citrus tree in my backyard. The one I brought with me in a pot when I moved is sickly and sad after a 1.5 hour drive down a freeway in a trailer. Luckily for me my neighbours have a tree that is dripping plenty of fruit into my backyard.
In my part of the world, this is the time of year that backyard citrus trees are laden with fruit – sometimes more fruit than one family can know what to do with. Often, fruit from a backyard tree will spoil because many of us have lost the skills needed to process the lemons. Don’t let that abundance go to waste! Here are some ideas for using up lemons:
1: Lemon cordial – Homemade lemon cordial is super-delicious. It doesn’t take much to whip up and it makes a wonderful gift.
2: Limoncello – If the cordial is impressive then your own homemade Limoncello is off the charts. Invite the neighbours over to celebrate!
3: Lemon Marmalade – This is an interesting alternative to your normal Orange marmalade.
4: Lemon Butter – There are many different ways to make Lemon Butter or Lemon Curd. You can spread this on scones or use it as a base for tarts or even Lemon Meringue Pie…Yum.
5: Lemony Salad dressing – You can find some pretty scrummy recipes out there for lemony salad dressings, but seriously, just squeezing the juice over salads works perfectly well.
6: Preserved Lemons: These are a staple in Middle Eastern cooking and they are pretty easy to make. I’m not a huge fan of the taste on its own, but it adds a great kick to cooking.
7: Don’t forget all the ways that you can use them in home cleaning too.
8: Freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays to use in cooking later on.
9: If you have too many then give them away! Your friends might love to transform them for you (give them this post too and they might make you something delicious!). You could also organise a local food swap in your community or contact Ozharvest to rescue them for you.
NB: With all these recipes, make sure your lemons are unwaxed. Of course they will be if you are using up lemons from a backyard tree or if you have been to a pick your own farm, but they may not be if you have bought them from the shops.