Monday, April 9, 2012
How To: The Best Way to Preserve Lemons
I have a bit of a lemon "thing", I guess you could say. I love fresh lemons, lemonade, lemon simple syrup, lemon cookies, lemon candies, lemon cakes and pastries, lemon chicken, lemon pasta... I feel like Bubba from Forest Gump. I could go on for days. So, when my lemon supply is coming to an end I stress out a bit. Store bought lemons do not compare to fresh from your own tree.
So, I started preserving my lemon 'crop' at the end of the season. After a season of using these fabulous lemons in everything you can imagine, I was left with about 120 lemons on my tree. I decided to freeze them. Normal preserved lemons are packed in salt or sugar and do not last much more than 6 months. Frozen, they will last much longer and it is just like using a fresh lemon.
Here's how I preserve my lemons...
Preserving Lemons in the Freezer
sharp knife (I used my chef's knife)
1 citrus zester (I used a box cheese grater-small grate)
1 measuring cup
2 ice cube trays
a juicer (I used an enameled aluminum lemon squeezer)
resealable plastic snack bags
3 good quality heavy duty freezer bags
Start by washing your lemons in a sink full of temperate water and dish soap. Allow them to dry. Taking one lemon at a time remove a thin layer of the zest off the lemon. Do not remove the white pith, it is very bitter. Once your lemons are zested, set them aside. Place 2 tablespoons of lemon zest in each resealable plastic snack bag. Place all snack bags in a freezer storage bag and mark the date, and 2 tablespoons lemon zest on the outside bag. Place in freezer and remove as needed. Remember you will need the zest to thaw out before using.
Place one lemon half at a time in juicer of choice (is using the lemon squeezer, be sure to place it in the squeezer upside down to get the most juice out). Squeeze juice into measuring cup.
Once you have collected 2 cups of juice pour the lemon juice into an ice cube tray. I use the 2 standard plastic ice cube trays and each holds 2 tablespoons (also 1/8 cup) of lemon juice. 2 cups per tray.
Once frozen (lemon juice cubes will remain tacky, from the sugar) place lemon juice cubes in a freezer storage bag and place that bag inside another bag. Lemon juice cubes and lemon zest will keep in the freezer (if well packaged) for 6 months or more.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com