If you’ve read my post Marmalade: It’s cheaper to make it at home you’ll know that our lemon tree produced fruit for the first time since we planted it four years ago. We couldn’t have been happier to see it finally bear some fruit! Some of the lemons I used to make marmalade a while ago and the rest we left on the tree to allow the fruit to grow and ripen fully and they did.
When we finally picked the lemons this week we had 11 very large, juicy and fleshy lemons that were fully ripe for the picking (as you can see in the photo). While this may not seem like an awful lot we were just so grateful for any fruit at all. We are hoping that next year there will be even more fruit, and the year after even more as the tree grows and continues to blossom which we hope it will.
We have seen this happen with our peach tree which we planted a few years ago. The first harvest yielded about a bowl of peaches. This increased the following year, and the year after, so that in its fourth year the tree yielded about 35 kg of peaches in total which was just amazing. We can’t wait to see how well the peach is going to do this year.
For now, I had those lemons to worry about. As it is so cold these days none of us felt like making, or even having, lemonade so I found the perfect solution: I was going to freeze the lemon juice and the grated lemon rind, and I was glad I did. Now when summer comes around once again, we will have some lemon juice at hand to make our first batch of lemonade (you can find my lemonade recipe in my Summer Refreshments post). I will also have grated lemon rind to use in recipes in the coming, without having to scramble to the shops for just the one lemon, which would really be wasting fuel.
Freezing lemon juice and grated lemon rind in winter is probably the best time to do it if you want to save yourself a bit of money. In summer, the lemons will be quite pricey but in winter, when they are in season, you will probably find some good specials on in the coming weeks. I haven’t seen any in the shops or at the greengrocer’s just yet, it might just be a bit too early, but as soon as I do will be stocking up on lemons, juicing them and freezing the juice to use in summer.
I stored the frozen lemon rind in a plastic freezer bag, so it will be easy to retrieve small amounts as and when needed. I also stored the lemon juice in a freezer bag to save space, and also because I don’t plan on using small portions at a time but rather the whole lot at a time when preparing lemonade.
You could also freeze lemon juice in an ice cube tray and once frozen, you can keep the ice lemon cubes in a freezer bag to save space in your freezer and also to have small portions available when cooking or when you need a tablespoon or two of lemon juice to add to salads. This certainly beats having to buy a bottle of lemon juice to keep in the fridge as well as running to the shops when you just need one lemon at a time!
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