I have a potted lemon tree that I started from a seed almost 20 years ago. This year, for the first time, it has actually produced some fruit---two fat lemons that are finally about ready to pick after nine months of ripening. So I'm wondering what to do with them after I pick them. They are so long-awaited that I'd hate to just juice them and throw them out.
So I thought of making limoncello, but all the recipes I find call for using just the zest (of about 15 lemons), then straining out the zest after infusion. Ideally I'd like to preserve the whole or sliced lemons in some way, in vodka for example. Has anyone done this? Instructions for citrus-infused vodka I've found all call for removing the fruit after a while to avoid bitterness. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Take some very artistic pictures of your two lemons and have the photo framed, and then hang it in your kitchen.
Candy your lemons by slicing them and simmering them in sugar water. They will keep almost indefinitely.
Or have a party, make cocktails, and use your lemon slices for cocktail garnish.
There is always an excuse for a party!
Two lemons in vodka will make a weak, bitter, cloudy, and dirty lemon flavored vodka, that will have a short shelf life. That is kind of a sad way for your lemons to end up.
The limoncello recipes you have seen online are correct. The peels, (no white pith) of about 12-15 lemons, with no juice. All the lemon flavor is in the oils in the peel. The white pith is just bitterness.
Thanks for the helpful advice! I finally picked the lemons today. I took some preliminary photos---I'll have to work on the artistic aspect.
I'm thinking I'll preserve them, Moroccan style (I've been seeing a link to a recipe here on chowhound). That will preserve the appearance of the lemons and provide me with a condiment that I can use over the long term.