Q. My parents had a very fruitful harvest from their lemon tree, over 400 lemons before the big freeze. They have juiced the lemons and frozen hundreds of cubes, made lemonade, used the zest for lemon poppy seed muffins, looked into making lemon extract (but are not big vodka drinkers and don’t want to invest in a bottle…). They’re trying to brainstorm other recipes to try before the crop ripens any more. Any other lemon-filled suggestions? They still have a ton. Any recipes requiring lots of lemons would be great. —H.H.
A. First, I invite anyone with the same “problem” to check in and comment here with any tips you have.
Next, I congratulate your folks, H.H., on their terrific crop: A wealth of lemons is a good thing. Before we get to food preparation tips, have your folks thought about donating some of the fruit to a food bank or giving away baskets to friends or take them to their church? Just an idea, especially if they get tired of lemon processing.
Here are a few other suggestions and links to recipes:
1. Make preserved lemons. These are great for Middle Eastern dishes and are supposed to be easy to make. Check out a recipe and method at http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_preserved_lemons/
2. Lemon Curd: Nearly everyone loves lemon curd, and it is useful in many ways (including eating by the spoonful out of a bowl). A couple of jars of good lemon curd also makes great gifts. Look for a recipe at http://www.recipezaar.com/Lemon-Curd-for-Canning-269028
3. Try the recipe, below, for Honey Lemon Marmalade, from www.foodinjars.com. The author says the lemons require some knife work — and you might want to be sure you don’t have any paper cuts on your hands before you begin. But, it’s one way to use up 14 lemons.
Honey Lemon Marmalade
8 cups chopped lemons (14 lemons)
2 cups honey (I used buckwheat honey, but you can use whatever you’ve got)
4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 packets liquid pectin (6 ounces)
Sterilize your jars (try using a combination of pint and half pint jars).
Combine lemons, honey, sugar and water together in non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Add pectin to the fruit and let it gently boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and fill jars. Apply lids and rings and process in a water bath for ten minutes. Let the marmalade sit overnight, to give the pectin time to fully activate.
Makes 6 pints.