Sustainable Life: Recipes for an abundance of lemons | HerCanberra

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Sustainable Life: Recipes for an abundance of lemons

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Feel like life has given you lemons? Make lemonade, lemon butter, marmalade or preserved lemon!

Wet winters create an abundance of lemons. Here’s some inspiration for making use of a bumper crop on your home lemon tree. All of these recipes are deliciously retro.


Ingredients: 2 cups of lemon juice (about 16 lemons, depending on their size and juiciness), 1.5 cups of white sugar, ½ cup of water, 4 litres of sparkling water.

Step 1. How to create the sugar syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-based saucepan, on medium heat. Stir as the sugar dissolves in the water. If you can see small air bubbles forming through clear liquid, your sugar syrup is complete.

Step 2. Add lemon juice to the sugar syrup and you now have lemon cordial.

Step 3. Make up your lemonade by adding about 1.5 cm of lemon cordial to the bottom of a glass and filling the rest of your glass with sparkling water.

Store the lemon cordial and fizzy water separately in your fridge. Create your lemonade at the time when you wish to drink it.

If it’s a cold day, add warm water to your lemon cordial to create a sweet, tangy warm drink.

It’s simple and delicious. Love it!

Lemon butter

Ingredients: 8 free range eggs, 1.5 cups of caster sugar, 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 tbsp. finely grated lemon rind, 250 g unsalted butter.

This recipe uses about 8 lemons for their juice and four for their lemon rind.

Step 1. Create a double boiler, either with a purpose built double boiler or by bringing approximately 3cm of water to the boil in the bottom of a saucepan, with a metal mixing bowl on top.

Step 2. Add the eggs and sugar to the top of the double boiler and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. This will take 5-10 min of constant whisking. It’s really important to whisk continuously, so the egg doesn’t set around the edges.

Step 3. Add your lemon juice, lemon rind and butter. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens. This could take a further 10–15 min. As soon as the mixture thickens, take it off the heat.

Delicious and retro, lemon butter is perfect on toast. It’s also amazing as a dessert, on top of fresh berries and yoghurt.


Paddington Bear is a fan of marmalade. When you make this marmalade, you might just find that there’s a Paddington Bear that comes out at night to devour it with sticky paws!

Ingredients: 4 cups sliced lemons, 4 cups sliced oranges, 2 cups of water, 8 cups of white sugar, 75g Jamsetta (1.5 packets).

You’ll need 5-8 lemons and the same number of oranges. Use a mixture of blood oranges and navels to create a beautiful, rich coloured marmalade.

Step 1. Wash and scrub the outside of your lemons and oranges. Slice your lemons and oranges in half and then into long quarters. Remove pips before slicing the quarters into eights.

These eighths are the perfect shape to be thinly sliced to create marmalade. Thinly slice your lemons and oranges to create four cups of sliced lemon and four cups of sliced orange.

Step 2. Place sliced lemons and oranges in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the water. Leave the saucepan overnight so the skin softens.

Step 3. Add the white sugar and bring to a gentle boil for 15 min, so the sugar is fully dissolved. Skim off any white ‘scum’. Add 1.5 packets (75g) of Jamsetta and boil for a further 5 – 10 min.

Step 4. Bottle in sterilised jars. Store in pantry for up to two months…unless it’s given away or has been eaten by Paddington Bear!

Preserved lemons

Ingredients: 5 lemons, 1 cup of cooking salt, 8 bay leaves, 8 cardamon pods and about 20 peppercorns.

Step 1. Scrub the outside of your lemons, then chop each lemon into six wedges. Take care to remove any pips.

Step 2. Place the lemon wedges into a large, non-reactive bowl and pour the cooking salt on top. Using a wooden spoon, pound the lemon wedges, until most of the juice has been extracted.

Step 3. Lift out the lemon wedges and place them into four sterilised jars. As you place the lemons into each jar, evenly space the spices through the lemons.

Each jar should have: 2 bay leaves, 2 cardamon pods and 5 peppercorns. Pour the salty lemon liquid over the jar, to cover the lemon wedges and spices.

Step 4. Store in the fridge and use after one month. This is when the flavours have combined and the lemon rinds are soft.

Preserved lemon wedges can be finely diced and sprinkled on vegetables like cauliflower, before it’s roasted. They’re also amazing with chicken or fish. Use the preserved lemon juices in a salad dressing.

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