I’ve been a little off my preserving game of late. My pantry is still full to bursting, so I haven’t had much in the way of motivation to make anything new (though truly, that’s never stopped me before). Add to the fact this is one of the least interesting times of the year for produce, and it’s been at least two weeks since I pulled my canning pot out of the cabinet.
Even my annual box of Meyer lemons from the Lemon Ladies failed to motivate me fully. I made jam and curd, but beyond that, I’ve been keeping the bulk of my lemons in my crisper drawer, waiting for inspiration.
Knowing that my busy season is coming, I finally turned my attention to those lemons today. As I pondered them, I realized that I was experiencing something akin to writer’s block, only with preserves. I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with interesting and novel recipes, and those expectations were tangling me up but good.
As soon as I understood what was going on, I decided to let myself entirely off the hook. I released my crazy expectations and spent a moment thinking about what I could make from those lemons that I would most use and enjoy. After about two seconds, I realized that was I most wanted was a batch of Meyer lemon syrup.
Think of this like lemonade concentrate. It’s tangy first, sweet second, and is one of my favorite things drizzled into a glass of iced sparkling water. Cathartic canning, at its best.
Also! Once all your lemons are juiced, gather up the peels, push them into a large jar, and cover them with white vinegar. Let them sit for awhile, until the vinegar is infused with the lemon essence. Use it for household cleaning.
Meyer Lemon Syrup
- 2 1/2 pounds Meyer lemons
- 2 cups sugar
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four half pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
- Juice the lemons and measure out 2 1/2 cups of juice. Pour it into a saucepan and add the sugar.
- Stir to combine, bring to a boil and simmer for two minutes.
- Funnel into the prepared 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 let cool. Sealed jars are shelf stable for up to one year.