Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lemons, lemons, lemons...

Like many households in Perth at the mo' we have lemons.  Lots of lemons.  We are overloaded with lemons.  We have lemons coming out of our ears.  To say I have lemons on the brain is no exaggeration!!
Last week I was sad to see one of the boughs on our lemon tree starting to snap from under the weight of a gazillion lemons... so I salvaged all the ripe lemons off of the bough and got this...

D'ya wanna see something scary?  Even after harvesting all those lemons off just one branch, the tree still looks like this...!

So I am on a mission to USE LEMONS...!
I have made lemon curd.  I checked out recipes on the net and found this one, but then made up my own recipe, which uses the whole egg rather than just the yolk.  I consider this to be a far more usable concept in cooking  :)

Lemon Curd
rind and juice of 4 lemons
6 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
125g butter

Lightly whisk the eggs and sugar together in a saucepan, then add the other ingredients.  Whisk continually over a medium heat until the mixture has thickened to a custard-like texture then allow to cool in the pan.  Decant into sterilised jars.

I've made about twenty jars of lemon curd and given nearly all away to my friends; and they have been surprisingly appreciative, especially considering most of us have lemon trees  :D

Cassie devised this clever idea...

This is mango jelly, made up with the juice from the lemons plus water up to volume, and poured inside the hollowed-out half lemon shells to set.  It can be eaten by scooping the jelly straight out of the half shells, or cut up into wedges like this.  Looks quite pretty on the plate, don't you think?... Clever and delicious!

Floral arrangement...

I know I know, this isn't really "using" lemons since they too still have to be consumed at some point.  But one may as well enjoy the visual beauty of laden branches too, yes?  Alongside there is my newest knitting project, hehehe...

I hesitate to mention this last one, since I get a "look" from everyone irl I have mentioned it to...  I am also drinking a lemon a day...  without any added sugar.  I fully realise how strange this sounds but honestly I am enjoying it now.  It only took a few days to get used to drinking unsweetened diluted lemon juice but now I am acclimatised I cannot imagine going back to adding sugar ever again.  I used to add sugar to my lemon juice, but it always bothered me.  I decided I would wean myself off by gradually reducing the amount of sugar I was adding but then I just decided to go cold turkey.  And it worked!  I am getting a good shot of vitamin C, without the extra sugar.   I am cool with it now.  
Juice of 1 lemon, diluted up to a glassful... 
A glass a day keeps the common cold at bay!

I think it is important to note, I am NOT expecting my family to drink unsweetened lemon juice.  For now it's just me  :)  For my family, I have been baking a coupla lemon cakes each week.  It's a good thing everyone loves them....    :)
And we are slowly getting through those lemons!
Incidentally, does anyone know a good limoncello recipe?
Now perhaps I should start thinking what to do about this...

60 comments:

  1. I am VERY impressed by this bumper crop of lemons! Intrigued by the rind-filled treats and may have to try lemon straight up myself.

    I made tabouleh today and used a generous amount of lemon. And I cooked chicken tenderloins in lemon juice as well. Sorry, can't help you with limoncello; our local winery makes one that's hard to beat.

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  2. Delicious. I love all things lemon (curd, cake, pie, meringue, liquid form (especially mixed with plain soda water), you name it) so I will undoubtedly be trying your lemon curd recipe soon. I'd actually been on the look out for one that uses the whole egg, rather than just the yoke - so thank you!

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  3. Mmmmm... I love lemon, too. But I don't drink it straight. :)

    Besides some that have been mentioned, I love lemon yoghurt. I throw lemon juice into my green smoothies. I have no brilliant suggestions for your bumper crop.

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  4. Drinking the lemon juice straight can eat away at the enamel on your teeth, so be careful.

    You might try juicing the lemons and then freezing the juice as ice cubes, then placing the frozen cubes in freezer bags to use in recipes later on. You just take out however many you need for whatever recipe, and off you go.

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  5. Carolyn, my mother's lemon and lime trees are full as well. Her limes as as big as lemons. I thank you for your lemon curd recipe and I will make some up as I love it!

    Limoncello... not sure if it's kind of lemon cordial in Italian but when I lived in Cyprus we made this up - equal amounts of lemon juice and sugar and stir till dissolved. This does not get heated at all and has a nice tangy flavour. I don't like it if it is overly sweet (as if 50% sugar isn't overly sweet!) You can put less sugar and make it more tangy - I love this diluted with sparkling mineral water in summer! Also lovely to give away.

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  6. Oh sorry just remembered Limoncello is alcoholic isn't it!

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  7. Eileen Cox; thank you, I am aware of that since my Dad is a dentist :) I brush my teeth straight after.

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  8. So funny! The idea of having a citrus tree in your yard is so foreign to us. All we ever get up here is an overabundance of zucchini.

    My kids and my mother have developed a specialty, rhubarb lemonade---they boil up some rhubarb, strain off the juice, and add it to lemonade. It's quite delicious, and I'm sure it would be even better with fresh squeezed lemonade... but then it occurred to me that I don't know if rhubarb grows down there. It's ridiculously hardy up here....

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  9. Lemons are so good for your insides - I drink half a lemon but in a large glass of water. Very refreshing. Sometimes if I am feeling posh I put it in a LARGE wine glass, lemon wedge and mint. A great option is preserving in salt to use for middle eastern cooking.

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  10. Oh I loove lemon curd! And I would love to have a lemon tree in my back yard :-) Did you see this recipe by Heidí Swanson for Citrus Salt: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/citrus-salt-recipe.html?

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  11. Wow, that is *a lot* of lemons! Bravo for finding inventive ways to use them :)

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  12. Beauty experts will tell you that the juice of one lemon every day makes for lovely skin. Another great thing for lemons is to preserve them in salt. You just pack the lemons into jars with loads of salt. I use them in middle eastern cooking and sometimes just chopped on with veges or salad for a bit of a zing.

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  13. I'm bracing myself for a similar problem in September with apples. Making endless apple cakes doesn't cut it as it uses too few. We're planning to turn our hands to some cider prodution (last year's test run was lovely).

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  14. I agree on the lemons in salt preserve - it is great tossed through some olive oil and used to anoint roasting or grilling chicken.

    The cumquats are rather decadent preserved in brandy - next year they make an excellent dinner party dessert with very wicked creamy icecream.

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  15. Gosh wish I lived near you. I would be bangin on your door. I have recently been addicted to having hot lemon and water and cold lemon and water. Love it. Even more when I heard it is good for your skin. It also good for cleaning, a natural bleach.

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  16. How small this internet makes the world! I'm waiting for the kettle to boil for my morning dose of the juice of one lemon with hot water... I'm of the "overrun with zucchini and rhubarb" hemisphere, and the thought of being overrun with lemons is so ... tantilizing!! I hadn't thought of preserving with salt for cooking. I also like the ice cube thing.
    (More ideas for "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade"!)
    Enjoy the freshness!

    Brenda

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  17. OMG how many? Home made lemon curd is so much better than the stuff from the supermarket though. Lemon meringue pie time? Lemon drizzle cake? Lemon chicken? Sorry, don't know a recipe for limoncello though.

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  18. Lemon is one of my favorite flavorings! My wedding cake was lemon rum! Favorite lemon-based recipes...
    Sweet:
    lemon butter cookies
    lemon tart
    lemon cheesecake
    lemonade! Sangria!
    lemon meringue pie
    lemon bars (i don't usually like these, though, b/c they're too sweet)
    lemon rum cake

    Savory:
    lemon chicken
    hummus
    grilled shrimp + lemon
    lots of pasta dishes use lemon
    lots of marinades use lemon
    lots of sauces use lemon

    Celebrate your lemon bumper crop! I wish I lived nearby to help. :)

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  19. I am so very encouraged by your crop. We planted our first lemon tree last year and its about 2 feet tall. We will have maybe 2 dozen lemons and I am happy to see the great ideas.
    Your tree does really look beautiful.

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  20. I have not tried it as my lemon tree is not as vigorous as yours, but a friend makes something similar...
    http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/14739/limoncello

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  21. I stare in envy at the richness and beauty of your tree! I live in the far north, and lemons are 50 cents each... :(

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  22. I eat buckets of lemons and they are currently 80 cents where I live!
    I love lemon in black tea, hot lemon honey drinks, chicken/leek/lemon risotto, creamy lemon chicken pasta - and my favourite baked lamb meatballs with rosemary/cous cous/chicken stock/ honey and.... lemon!
    I also make a delicious fennel slaw with finely sliced fennel, whole egg mayonnaise, chives and lemon juice. YUM... now I'm hungry...

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  23. Hi Carolyn, I've been following your blog for sometime. 1st comment! Much the same lemon status over here in Melbourne. I've just made a large batch of curd, and 3 litres of Lemon Cordial. Next task was Limoncello, and planning on using this method - http://limoncelloquest.com/limoncello-articles/limoncello-recipe

    Look forward to reading about your success in later posts!

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  24. If you have extra lemons I wouldn't mind some Australian curd :o)
    I can swap it with Italian zucchini!
    Limoncello is a great way to use it...but I have so much I can never drink it all.
    Another option is Italian granita (don't call it water ice though!)
    or tarte au citron

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  25. I am quite envious. I would love a lemon tree. Don't the flowers smell divine? I remember now, I had a little lemon tree in the house (too cold outside) but it didn't live long and I was sad.

    As for sweetening lemon juice: I wouldn't dream of it!

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  26. Those lemons are lovely and I am familiar with your situation, I have 2 lemon trees (Meyer lemons) and one Valenica orange. With these varieties the fruit stays on the tree all year long until picked (or it finally drops) but I do feel lucky to have these treasures growing right outside my kitchen. Meyer lemons are a bit sweeter (thought to be a cross between lemon and some variety of other citrus) and they are delicious for lemonade that needs less sugar. I am partial to lemon cake, but I also make pasta with lemon sauce. And give bags to friends and neighbors. Plus the scent of the blossoms in spring is heavenly.

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  27. Oh! So nice the branch in the vase!

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  28. I love homemade lemon curd and am awefully envious of your lemon tree. I'm afraid I can't help you with uses though, since I'm another one of those people with too many zucchinis and apples, buying lemons at ridiculous prices (99 cents apiece for the large ones, 50 cents for the medium sized).

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  29. Ugh! So jealous. It would be so great to live in a place that can sustain fruit trees. There are a few varieties that grow here in our short summers, but generally, we are stuck with crab apples raspberries and the odd sour cherry.

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  30. Those lemons look fantastic! I am very impressed with your home-made lemon curd. I like to mix marscarpone cheese and lemon curd to make a filling for tarts and then pile fresh berries on top. Quick and easy, once you already have the lemon curd to hand, of course!

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  31. Love it! I drink apple cider vinegar diluted like that to ward off colds ... Kevin planted a lemon tree in our backyard this spring, as well as putting in our very pot-bound satsuma. I think there are two green lemons on our lemon tree. But one day ....

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  32. A Limoncello Recipe...
    6 lemons, 3 cups vodka, 3 cups castor sugar, 2 cups water
    Soak lemons for 1 hour in cold water, dry well and finely peel (no pith). Add peel to large jar, add 2 cups vodka. Cover and let stand in cool dark place for 3 days.
    In a pot combine sugar and water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins. Cool completely. Add syrup to vodka/peel mix and mix well. Stand in cool dark place for 2 days. Add remaining vodka, cork and stand in cool dark place for 2 further days. Filter through muslin returning liquid to bottle. Stand for one week. Makes 750mls (approx)

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  33. http://simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/limoncello-concentrated-lemoney.html is the recipes used last year. It was very well received as presents at Christmas time! Recently I resorted to putting a box of lemons out on the footpath with a "free, take me home" sign. Gluts of produce from the garden make me feel rich. Nothing better than limoncello for a hot summers day with soda water.

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  34. Your citrus crops are amazing. Mine are looking a little sad this year with my mandarin not fruiting at all. I was a little slack with the watering last year, I am guessing that is why.

    My favourite lemon recipe happens to be my daughters lemon meringue pie. Not only is it delicious but a thing of beauty. When I am over run with lemons I also juice them and have also peeled the skins off them and dehydrated the skins before popping them in the food processor for grinding. I can then have both lemon juice and zest recipes year round.

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  35. Oh my goodness, how lucky you are! The weather in the uk has been worse than wet this summer and nothing has grown in the garden. Lemon curd tarts, mmmmmm......

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  36. My daughter tells me that you can freeze lemon slices and use them like ice cubes in drinks - I haven't tried it but with that sort of quantity available you have a few to spare for experimenting!

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  37. Check Diane Morgan's blog--she's a cookbook writer and teacher here in Oregon and has a limoncello recipe in a recent book. For awhile there, the recipe was up on her blog....

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  38. To all the poor envious folks of blogger-friends here:
    if it would be as easy to send lemons via email through here, I'd join the producer/provider side and would be able to hand over goodies for quite a long time to you as well (as surely would other Aussies).
    Cucumbers (currently growing bumper crops in parts of Germany) and zucchini (wherever they come from) would come in handy in return.
    If it only would be that easy - sigh!

    As for Carolyn:
    whilst still winter and baking oven on might be a welcome thing anyway: sliced and baked on baking-paper covered tray to caramel stage and thrown on fish dishes or sweet treats?
    The Myer ones don't even need a sprinkle of sugar to caramelise; yours might - please check.
    Slightly sprinkled with salt is doing some caramel trick as well; providing a different flavour of course (and I have to use very young and more still sour ones of my Myers for this)

    Didn't Maggie Beer (S.A.) in one of her ideas make them cristallised (all over; not only the famous 'rind')?

    To be honest: I got so used to Lemons, I think I'd have problems living without them.
    I love them in salad marinade nearly more than anything else. And lemons used for vinegar replacement seem to ward off this dreaded ill fated over-yeasting of the body - don't remember the proper name for it - sorry!

    Love,
    Gerlinde (lemon blessed in Melbourne surrounds)

    PS: no wonder your friends are appreciative about the fix and ready curd: having lemons but getting around/sacrificing time to do those things are two different 'style of boots' ;-)

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  39. Your lemon trees looks so pretty and I have never heard of lemon curds....is it like a jam/marmalade? I love your lemon floral arrangement...very artistic :)

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  40. That's an impressive crop of lemons!!!

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  41. Please post about that other tree, too. Here's a variation on a lemon chicken recipe: http://mary-sews.blogspot.com/2010/09/yummy-lemon-chicken.html

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  42. I am very envious of you and your lemons. Beautiful trees and such luscious fruit.

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  43. Beautiful tree and luscious lemons! Yum! Have to tell you, I've been noting the price of lemons has been steadily going up in the past month -- a month ago they were 4/$1; 3 wks ago 3/$1.49; last wk 2/$1.59 and yesterday they were 2 or $2!!!!!

    Of course, I think all our produce (and some foods) have been steadily going up because of all the drought, etc., but the price of lemons caught my attention because I started drinking lemon-flavored water after going to a spa here that served it in a special pitcher. (I went out and purchased the pitcher and have been drinking it ever since.)

    I think drinking a glass of lemon juice every day is a smart idea. Enjoy!

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  44. We could do a swap - Our lemon tree is a bit sad this year since it was pruned BUT I have 7 dozen eggs in the fridge - our girls are laying so well and it is not even spring. I am sick of eggs ( and hate to think what our cholesterol levels are ) I even cooked my dog an egg for brekkie this morning.

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  45. If you are still in the market for a limoncello recipe here is the link to my blog for my own recipe
    http://spadesandspoons.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/limoncello.html. Yummo. The only unfortunate thing is that you have to wait for limoncello.
    I have a lemon issue here too. I normally end up juicing dozens of lemons, putting the juice into ice cube trays, and using the juice through the year in cooking. I never buy lemons.

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  46. Cumquarts make the BEST marmalade, although are exceptionally tedious to slice up (perhaps best done after you have made some limoncello to accompany the task). I slice and cut wedges of lemons and freeze for summer drinks, exceptional in G&Ts. Homegrown citrus is just the best.

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  47. As they say, when life serves you a lemon, turn it into a gin and tonic!

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  48. Like many others, I've so very envious of your lemon (and orange) 'problem'. I love lemons with salt on, crazy as that sounds. I grew up drinking iced tea (has sun tea made it to Australia?) with lemon slices and mint - no sugar (because my Dad liked is that way). Even now when I have a drink with a lemon slice in it (Brits put them in soft drinks as well as gin & tonic) I'm likely to pick up the lemon and eat it - rind and all. Lemons are never what I would call inexpensive here, so when I do actually buy them I use what I can then slice them, put in ice cube trays and cover with water for later use. I've not done any baking with lemons, but I can see a whole raft of ideas from your post and all these comments.

    You are very fortunate to live where you do!

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  49. There is a great board on Pinterest that is all about lemon recipies - author - Jillee

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  50. wow I wish I had your problem a giant bag of lemons and a tree full yet! How wonderful! I drink lemon juice in water too! No sugar. Its soooooo very good for you, not only the C but its very alkalizing to your body which is a very healthy state to be in. I know one thinks Lemon acid but once we eat or drink lemon it is alkalizing. Good for you! You could can can/jar lemon juice for later use like to add to your water :O). It would only require hot water bath process not pressure canning :O)

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  51. Thank you so much for these fantastic suggestions! I have checked out a limoncello recipe, and made a start, so there will be an update on the lemon and cumquat situation soon... :)
    Thanks!

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  52. Oh wow, what bountiful citrus trees you have! I'm a big lemon fan, especially in summer. I love scaloppine al limone (veal cutlets in lemon sauce), lemony chicken, and I recently made some yummy pasta with lemon and zucchini sauce! :D And there's always using the juice instead of vinegar in salad dressing. And lemon meringue pie! :)
    No idea what to make with the kumquats, except for Bombay Crushed (think Caipirinha but with gin and kumquats). So yummy!

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  53. I love lemons! Lemon everything! How wonderful to have a bumper crop - and in your own back yard!

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  54. I have the same problem but with a lime tree; do you think I could use your curd recipe and just substitute limes?
    Ingrid

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  55. Ingrid: yes, of course! In fact I have a lime tree too and made some lime curd using exactly the same recipe over the weekend, only I added an extra lime in since the limes are smaller than the lemons... I took a picture of a few jars but haven't put it on the blog... yet :)

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  56. I second (third?) the idea of freezing the juice in ice cube trays for use through the year. This year we purchased a 1950's house in Hobart and there is no lemon tree... how mystifying!

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  57. Wow! That is a lot of lemons!

    And great idea to drink a lemon a day-- I have read several places that lemons are an extremely cleansing food to consume. Juicers add a lemon to their juice cleanses and to cut the bitterness of greens.

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  58. Thank you very much for the recipe -
    just today I thought about making
    Lemon Curd by myself... Not that we
    have a lemon tree in our garden, oh
    no, not in Germany, but I like it
    very much! Today I wanted to search
    for a recipe in the www... And well,
    here it is :D
    Thanks again,
    Liese

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  59. Ever tried lemons from a lemonade tree? They are delish, no need for any sugar and don't need to be diluted . Easy to grow with no special requirements, only water in our hot Perth summers.

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  60. Hopefully you'll still get this comment -- even though it's seven months after your original post. From my inspiration from you, I made the limoncello for xmas gifts this year, as well as lemon curd. I was very popular with the neighbors. I was just reading the cookbook A Girl and Her Pig and she had a recipe for Lemon and Fennel Pollen marmalade. I thought you would enjoy this. Luckily, I found the recipe on someone's blog. The best part -- it uses all of the lemon. http://spryonfood.com/2013/01/30/fennel-lemon-marmalade/

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