Eight Ways to Preserve Meyer Lemons

six meyer lemons

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!

soaking meyer lemon bits

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.

salted meyer lemons

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.

dehydrating lemons

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.

meyer lemon zest sugar

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.

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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.

two half-pints of lemon curd

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.

making limoncelle

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).

meyer lemons

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?

Meyer Lemons Jelly

Yield: 3 half pints


  • 2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (approximately 20 lemons)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons powdered pectin


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Whisk pectin into the sugar.
  4. In a large, non-reactive pot, combine Meyer lemon juice, sugar and the bundle of seeds.
  5. 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.
  6. Use the frozen saucer to test doneness.
  7. 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.

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74 Responses to Eight Ways to Preserve Meyer Lemons

  1. 51

    […] We returned from our Thanksgiving trip to Houston last week with about 75 lbs. of Meyer Lemons from my MiL’s backyard tree.  I imagine there will be some more lemon recipes in the archives soon.  I found some great ideas at Food in Jars.  […]

  2. 52

    thanks for putting up this lovely & useful blog
    I have a failed first batch of Meyer marmalade, that worked better for me last year
    I had about 40 pounds of fruit, some slightly injured by a late freeze
    anyway I can resurrect my first batch, by adding pectin?

  3. 53
    Margot Veranes says:

    Hi! I used your recipe for meyer lemon marmalade from your book. It came out a perfect consistency but was unbearably tart! Is that normal? Could it have been the pith in the cheesecloth? I boiled the seeds and pith in the cheesecloth along with the rest of the marmalade then removed it prior to jarring.

    • 53.1
      Marisa says:

      Did you use the appropriate amount of sugar? Marmalade is always tart, but it shouldn’t be inedibly so. I’m not sure what to tell you.

  4. 54
    ruth copeland says:

    I am a meyer lemon big time fan! Live in Florida where our son had a tree. He moved out of state but Fl meyers do not have seeds. I have had very little luck finding any locally &our grocery has had bags but Sunkist from New Zealand. Working on my 3rd bag of 6 & have made all sorts of breads, cakes & muffins. Always add more zest!!
    Think I will try the preservation instructions, but usually freeze the rind, juice & left over shells for tea or?

  5. 55
    Granny says:

    Beware of store bought meyer lemons because they are often coated. Preserved lemon recipes use the rind, not the pulp of the lemon. So organic is the only way to go. The Lemoneira-brand Meyer lemons I purchased tried to conceal this information by writing in almost invisible ink of yellow on a green background, in teenie tiny font the following: Coated with Food-grade Vegetable-Beeswax, and/or Lac-Resin-Based Wax or Resin Coating to Maintain Freshness. This ridiculous oxymoron is absurd on its face. Two rounds of boiling and scrubbing did not remove the coating, which was visible as a white film on the pan and colander used. Even scrubbing did little good. In the end, I just picked some lemons off my own tree. No clue why Meyer lemons are to be preferred for this recipe.


  1. Jam of the Month Club « Eliot's Eats - December 1, 2016

    […] We returned from our Thanksgiving trip to Houston last week with about 75 lbs. of Meyer Lemons from my MiL’s backyard tree.  I imagine there will be some more lemon recipes in the archives soon.  I found some great ideas at Food in Jars.  […]

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