It is Meyer lemon season and I am in the midst of my annual binge. As I’ve chopped, juiced, dried, fermented and otherwise infused my way through ten pounds, the though occurred to me that it might be useful to have all my favorite ways to preserve this citrus hybrid in one place.
Some of the recipes are mine, some link out to other folks. I’ve tucked my recipe for Meyer lemon jelly in at the end of the post (it’s a recipe from the cookbook, but I feel compelled to share). Enjoy!
I think that marmalade is one of the highest forms of preservation for Meyer lemons. There’s a recipe in my cookbook, but if you don’t have it, use this recipe for Small Batch Blood Orange Marmalade. It will work just as well. If you want something a little different, consider trying the Strawberry Meyer Lemon Marmalade recipe I wrote for Simple Bites last year.
For those of you who like their citrus with a little funk, make Salt Preserved Lemons. Use them in salads, braises, stews and even salted lemonade. If you struggle with them in their whole state, blend them and scoop the puree into vinaigrettes and smooth soups.
Dehydrated lemon slices are good for dropping into mugs of tea, water bottles and even braises that need a little acidity. If you store them in airtight containers, they last up to a year.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you’re going to juice a bunch of lemons, make sure to zest them (either with a vegetable peeler for big chunks or with a rasp for fine bits) thoroughly before you give them the big squeeze. Then stir that zest into sugar or salt, let it dry on a plate or baking sheet for a bit and then pack it into jars. You’ll get good Meyer lemon flavor, all year round.
This recipe for Meyer Lemon Caramel is not mine and I’ve not yet tried it (but I plan to). However, when it comes to delicious things, I trust Janet without question. Her blog is a delight and you should be reading it. And then you should make Meyer lemon caramel.
Meyer Lemon Curd is one of my weaknesses. I love it a little too much, which is why I make it just once a year. It’s dangerous for me to have around. But in January or February, it just seems right to whisk up a batch and stir it into greek yogurt. It beats the winter blues better than a trip to the tropics.
If you like limoncello, I implore you to make this version of Meyer Limoncello that Heather posted on her blog (Voodoo and Sauce) about two years ago. I’ve made it following her instructions twice and it’s divine. I’ve not changed a thing (which is rare for me).
After the jump is my recipe for Meyer Lemon Jelly. The set can be a little tricky to hit right on the nose, but since I like to spoon this jelly into sparkling water, it’s no great loss if it’s too loose. For a slightly pulpier preserve, substitute segmented Meyer lemons for the grapefruit in this jam recipe.
What’s your favorite way to preserve Meyer lemons?
- 2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (approximately 20 lemons)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons powdered pectin
- Prepare a boiling water bath and 3 half pint jars. Place canning lids in a small saucepan of water and set to the barest simmer.
- Squeeze lemons to extract juice and save all the seeds. Place seeds in the center of a 6-inch length of cheesecloth. Roll the cheesecloth up and tie it tightly so that no seeds are able to escape.
- Whisk pectin into the sugar.
- In a large, non-reactive pot, combine Meyer lemon juice, sugar and the bundle of seeds.
- Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the volume in the pot is greatly reduced. While you continue to stir, clip a candy thermometer to the pot and watch until the pot reaches 220°F. It should look thick and syrup-y and the bubbles should look glossy.
- Use the frozen saucer to test doneness.
- When jelly is finished cooking, pour it into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and bands and process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.