If life gives you lemons, preserve them

22:01, Jul 09 2013

My good friend Erica recently went back to live in Australia, leaving behind a lemon tree laden with delicious, zesty-smelling fruit that she gave me to plunder.

Only problem is, there are far too many lemons to simply slice into my G and T of an evening. What a dilemma, you're thinking, what a first world problem! It's true. My own lemon trees aren't doing anywhere nearly as well as Erica's: one is fruiting but not ripening, the other put out one golf-ball-sized lemon and gave up the ghost after the big storm. I think that all edible gardens should have at least one lemon tree, because lemons are indispensable in the kitchen. And in no time at all I had thought of a billion ways in which to use this bounty Erica left me.

First, I made preserved lemons. I used Ray McVinnie's spectacularly easy recipe. My lemons were super-small, so instead of six called for in the recipe, I used about 20. When cooking with preserved lemons, you use the skin rather than the flesh, so this was ideal for small to tiny fruit that had hardly any flesh, and were therefore useless for juicing.

Second, I made a lemon and marshmallow frosting cake from Natalie Oldfield's latest book. It took a lot more time to zest 10 tiny lemons than it did to preserve them, and then I popped the skinned bodies into the juicer for the amount required in the recipe.

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Third, I had a G and T. Hiccup.

Fourth, I have yet to decide. I'm thinking perhaps of zesting and then juicing the rest and freezing both for later use.

Maybe I'll decide over another G and T.

How are your lemons cropping this year? How do you make the most of your crop?

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