Archives for category: Preserving

This is one of the easiest tricks in my preserving tool box. It’s a strategy that my family learned from our neighbours when I was in high school and I am still delighted by the fabulous simplicity and usefulness of the results. Your Corona’s never need to go lime-less again!

Quite simply, you take lemons and/or limes and cut them up in slices or segments laying them on a cookie sheet or other flat surface that you can fit in your freezer. Obviously, you then put these trays into the freezer. Once the lemon/lime pieces are frozen you can transfer them to a suitable storage container.

Now you will always have lemon and lime on hand. The slices and segments don’t take very long to defrost if you need fresh juice and they make a wonderful alternative to ice cubes. I am particularly fond of a splash of red vermouth with a frozen lemon slice before supper, but I can be lured into enjoying a gin and tonic with a lime segment too. A jug of plain tap water is dressed up in no time with a few slices of citrus added. While they don’t make very good ice cubes, I include the end pieces of the lemons/limes when I am freezing them so that I always have zest on hand.

And so the citrus obsession continues. I am just so thrilled to have found out that citrus has a season. Ridiculous, I know, but it’s true. It had probably never occurred to me because I’ve never lived anywhere suited to growing citrus. Instead, I’ve lived in the northern reaches where lemons, limes and oranges are available year-round at the supermarket.

We’re January babies, most of the citrus family and me. Given how much I love my birthday and try to stretch it to an entire season, usually only achieving a couple weeks before some other tangelo has a turn, it seems right for citrus and I to be kindred spirits. Citrus season is my new favorite birthday event and I’m already planning to have something involving Meyer lemon curd for my birthday cake (tart? pie?) next year.

After tracking down some Meyer lemon’s this week, couldn’t wait to make this lemon curd from Epicurious. It had numerous rave reviews and I agree completely. It was easy to make, beautiful and delicious! So good I am saving some of the remaining Meyer’s to make more.

3-4 Meyer lemons (enough to get 2 tsp. of zest and 1/2 c. of juice, it only took me 2 1/2 lemons to achieve this)
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 stick of butter cut into 4 pieces
(I had to look up how much is in a “stick”, turns out it’s about 1/2 c.)

1. Whisk: zest, juice, sugar, & eggs in a metal bowl.
You will be heating this double boiler style so if you don’t seem to have a metal bowl…ahem, Bree…then just use a pot that will fit into another one to simulate the bowl. This is also a good time to start that water simmering in the bottom pot. 

2. Add butter.

3. Put your bowl/pot over the simmering water and begin whisking.

4. Continue whisking until the curd is thick, smooth, and around 160 degrees F on a thermometer.

The next step was to push the curd through a sieve to remove the zest bits but I like their flecks of dark yellow so I didn’t bother with this. Besides who wants to waste all that curd on the sieve! If you can stop yourself from eating it all by the spoonful, straight from the pot, you should apparently cover it with wax paper, presumably to stop it from forming a yucky skin on the top.

First, an admission, I am rather prone to pigheadedness and once I get something in my head it’s exceptionally difficult for me to get it out. Lately it’s citrus. I went out and bought one of those rudimentary citrus-juicers. One glass of straight-from-the-press pink grapefruit juice and I was enamored. From there I got a bit carried away and, in true Bree fashion, ended up with 9 lbs. of citrus fruit on my kitchen counter.

I’d heard of them before, but recently I’ve read so much about preserved lemons on blogs like Sustainable Eats and Chiot’s Run that I just had to try my hand at making some. My only hurdle was that despite all that citrus I had no lemons! Grapefruits seemed rather large and maybe too bitter for preserving so I settled on using oranges. Somewhat unconventional perhaps, but if Robert Lambert can preserve Rangpur limes why can’t we do the same for oranges? Well, you can or at very least I did. We’ll see how they turn out in a couple weeks.

The beauty of these lies in how easy they are to make. I loosely based my recipe on other blogs as well as a fantastic book, Preserved by Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton.

You will need:
– about 5 oranges total (depending on how large and how juicy they are)
– salt
– spices (I used a few peppercorns and some coriander seeds, but after I was thinking some rosemary might be nice)

After washing the oranges, take 3  and slice off the ends before cutting each orange into rough quarters or sixths. Try to squish as many as you can into a sterilised pint jar sprinkling about a teaspoon of salt and some of your spices between each layer. When the jar is almost full take the remaining oranges and juice into the jar (or, if you are me, use your handy citrus-juicer and then pour into the jar!) You want the juice to cover the oranges completely. Top with some more salt/spices and twist on a lid.

Up until here most of the instructions I’ve read are pretty much the same but from here on out it seems like it’s up to you. To shake the jar or leave it? I’m a shaker, I won’t be able to just leave them alone for 3-4 weeks. To refrigerate or hide in a cupboard or leave out? I figure I’ll see how they turn out after three weeks on the counter, mostly because I love their little glimpse of bottled summer.

Now you are probably wondering what is in the other jar, and if you’ve made preserved citrus you may have lamented over the detritus of beautiful peel left from the squeezed fruit. Thanks to The Garden of Eating, I have found a solution — candied peel. See her blog for a wonderful description of how to make these but essentially you steep them in a simple syrup, drain, and roll in sugar before leaving to dry. They’ve turned out beautifully and I am very tempted to try dipping them in chocolate the next time around.