I know. This blog has been awfully citrus heavy of late. So much so that it wouldn’t be a stretch to rename things Citrus in Jars (with the occasional fermented vegetable). Yet, here I am again, with more lemons. And not even a project-y marmalade or curd. Just a concentrate.
Thing is, it’s been something of a brutal winter here in Philadelphia (though not as soul sucking as our friends in New England have had to live through) and I’m still working my way through the citrus recipes for the natural sweeteners book. I just don’t have a whole lot of creativity left. And so I return to the things I know and love.
And these citrus-based concentrates? I LOVE them because they are delicious and versatile. You can use them to sweeten your fizzy water (I know I suggest this a lot, but as someone who drinks many quart jars of water a day, it makes for a nice occasional treat). They work well in cocktails. And I’ve yet to meet a poundcake that appreciate a few drizzles of flavored syrup.
What’s more, next time you want to make a pitcher of lemonade, you can just pop open a jar, dilute it with water, ice it down, and serve.
I used Meyer lemons in this batch, but if those feel too dear, just use plain old grocery store lemons. It will be a little bit more tart, but you can always temper that by adding the juice of one orange to the mix.
Another place where you might want to make a switch is in sweetener. I used evaporated cane juice, but one could just as easily go with honey. Just use about a third less if you make that swap.
Finally, let’s talk ginger. I grated a huge hunk of ginger on a microplane until I had 1/4 cup of pulp. If the lemon ginger combo isn’t your thing, you could also try some lavender, cardamom, or even a little cayenne if you want a spicy kick. Just strain the syrup through a tightly woven sieve before canning.
One last thing. If you don’t choose to zest your lemons for a salt blend before squeezing, make sure to heap the into a jar and cover them with white vinegar. Let them steep for a couple of days and then strain out all the spent lemon rinds. They will have given their essence to the vinegar and it will make for a very lovely cleaning fluid. I use it as a countertop spray and it cuts through the grease like you wouldn’t believe.
Meyer Lemon Ginger Concentrate
- 3 pounds lemons
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar or 1 cup honey, if you want it to be naturally sweetened
- 1/4 cup freshly grated ginger
- Juice lemons.
- Measure out 2 1/2 cups of juice and pour it into a small saucepan.
- Add sugar and ginger.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, to reduce slightly.
- Remove the pan from the stove and let it sit for an hour or two, to further infuse the ginger flavor.
- Strain concentrate through a fine mesh sieve to remove ginger. Rinse out the pan and return the concentrate to it.
- Bring the concentrate back to a boil.
- Funnel the hot liquid into three half pint jars.
- Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- When jars are cool enough to handle, check to ensure that the lids have sealed. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to one year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
I just submitted a question to the Ball Jar company website asking if I could can shrub, There are recipes all over the internet for shrub but they only recommend refrigerating it, not canning it. So I am delighted to find this as I wish to can it and mail it to friends and family. Thank you, it is perfect!!!
(I assume the reason for not canning in a hot water bath the other recipes for shrub is the balance of acid and sugar won’t allow it?? Can shrub be canned??)
Shrubs can absolutely be canned. The reason most people don’t do it is that a lot of shrubs are made without cooking and you can’t can something without boiling the heck out of it. If you don’t mind that, go ahead and can your shrubs. Bring them to a boil, fill up the jars, wipe rims, add lids and rings, and process for 10 minutes in a BWB.
This looks so yummy! I hope this isn’t too crazy of a question but would this work bottle lemon juice if any kind of lemon is too dear?
I am so blessed to have a huge meyer lemon tree in my yard. From October to march fresh lemons are there to cook with and enjoy. We juice and freeze cubes for our daily pitcher of tea. Know what you mean by treasure. In mid July when we have to switch to store bought lemons, we miss them. The tree is just starting to bloom and the fragrance is divine. Might give one of your recent canning adventures a try. Thanks for your blog.
Wow, great idea. No lovely Meyer lemons in my neck of the woods but I’ll make it with regular lemons tempered with orange, as you suggest. And I’ll be making the lemon vinegar spray as well. Thanks, Marisa!
I do something similar with Meyers, ginger and honey. I just vitamix everything and then freeze it in ice cubes. Mixed with hot water and a dram or two it is awesome for congestion.
Yessss! I just made a qt of ginger simple syrup to use in cocktails and just received more Meyers from the Lemon Ladies. What a perfect combination and a plan!
Yum! Can you also do this with fresh lime juice in place of lemon? I have both…
I used regular lemons and the fresh ginger. When was done squeezing all those lemons, I was short just a bit, so I added less than a 1/4 cup of bottled lemon juice. Last night for my dinner party, I used the lemon ginger infusion to make lemon ginger mojitos for everyone. They were a big hit! I will definitely make this again when my infusion runs out. This was just a wonderful change from our snowy New England weather.
I made this lovely recipe with regular lemons (and an orange). I cut the peeled ginger into 1/2″ dice and left it in all through the canning, equally distributed between the jars. A cube or two of the ginger on a toothpick is a kicky garnish for a cocktail made with the syrup. Thanks for the inspiration!
Sounds yummy. I do a lemon/ginger infusion with some grated turmeric added for it’s anti-arthritic and health benefits (and color). Makes a great addition to teas and lemonade. Although some people find the taste too strong.I’ll try this recipe with a bit of turmeric added.
Given that I not only have the bounty from my own Meyer lemon tree, but from that of my friend as well,this recipe (and tips within) is perfect timing! I estimate I’ve got 30-40 lbs of lemons that I HAVE to do something with this weekend or they will be beyond use. I didn’t want to do all canned lemon juice, so THANK YOU!!
Daina- I have had the same issue. I make and sell jams and marmalades and people are so generous with their excess fruit that I am frequently inundated. You can get an extra week or more by refrigerating them. Also, you can use your freezer if you don’t have time to can. Squeeze the juice, place in freezer bags until ready to use. You can freeze the whole fruit also. When you defrost them, the peels will be softer, but the taste unchanged. Hope this helps you feel more at ease this weekend. Cheers from Santa Cruz!
Question though – do you measure out three pounds of lemons before you do any juicing?
Would this also work as a base for a vinaigrette? Or a curd? Thanks!
Love your recipe! We’re in autumn in Australia and my Meyer lemon tree is full of small green fruit promising a bumper crop come July/August. Can’t wait to try this along with many of your citrus recipes. I’m a big fan of your books here Down Under
Wonderful! I love lemon-ginger combos so I look forward to trying this. However I am VERY curious, at the end of your post you mention zesting the lemons for a salt blend. Could you enlighten me on this?
I like to use my lemon zest to make limoncello, but haven’t tried it with meyers… I wonder if that would work well!
Could you safely up the amount of ginger in this recipe and still can it?
You can up it a little. It should remain at least 75% lemon to be safe for canning.
Thank you so much I have been looking every where to find a way to can my meyer lemon juice, I just don’t have the room in my small freezer. Every article I have read has had me so confused saying they should not be used in replacement for lemons etc in canning recipes. I inherited a Meyer lemon tree and am blessed by the amount this old tree has produced this year a little earlier then most years. My Family and friends will be so happy when they receive their jars of concentrate included with the fresh lemons I will give them. Being able to use honey also is such a great health benefit also. Thank you so much. I love your website is is so helpful and informative.
What is the ratio to dilute for lemonade? 1 part concentrate, 3 parts water?
This recipe has 2 1/2 cups of juice to 1 1/2 cups of sugar, where the Meyer Lemon syrup is 2 1/2 cups of juice to 2 cups of sugar, I would like to make a limeade concentrate, but not sure which recipe to follow. Also, the dilution ratio?
Thank you for your recipes!
The recipes are different because I made them at different times in my life. It’s up to you to determine which ratio you’d prefer to follow. And as far as dilution goes, I typically do a ratio of 1 part concentrate to 4 parts water, but you should use your judgment to determine the dilution that tastes best to you!
I really enjoy this recipe- i made it once, and am planning on making it a second time. I have been mixing it with hot water for a tea while pregnant, it is lovely and warming.
I do decrease the sugar a bit, because i like the tartness and taginess of lemon ginger.
I’m so happy to hear that you like it!