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Tons of lemons — what to do?

SouthToTheLeft Feb 27, 2011 07:31 PM

Hey everyone,

I woke up this morning to bags and bags of lemons from my neighbor's lemon trees. I have no idea what to do with them! What would you do if you suddenly got 10 pounds of free lemons?


  1. s
    SouthToTheLeft Mar 20, 2011 08:59 PM

    I have some candied lemons boiling away on the stove ... wow, they are good!

    1. l
      LaureltQ Mar 19, 2011 09:16 PM

      Lemon Risotto! I am also in the camp suggesting lemon curd. YUMMY! Nothing goes over better than a lemon tart in my house either.

      3 Replies
      1. re: LaureltQ
        lilgi Mar 19, 2011 10:21 PM

        Laurel, do you have a good lemon risotto recipe you can share?

        1. re: lilgi
          goodhealthgourmet Mar 19, 2011 10:53 PM

          this Bon Appétit recipe is a good one - i add a little minced fresh thyme and some sliced caramelized leeks.


          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            lilgi Mar 19, 2011 11:03 PM

            It's the one I have and Hazan's, but I'm just gonna add sorrel and a few porcini mushrooms. Thanks ;) Caramelized leeks, nice too!

      2. j
        jlafler Mar 19, 2011 05:40 PM

        If you make lemonade and freeze it, keep in mind that you don't have to fully dilute it. I mix the juice and simple syrup, freeze in pint containers, and then defrost and dilute as needed with water when I want lemonade.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jlafler
          MellieMag Mar 19, 2011 06:30 PM

          I would have to eat some of them. I had fresh from the tree lemons once many years ago and didn't make anything with them,just gobbled them down. I have chicken breasts in the crock pot right now with sliced lemon, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt, garlic,onion, oregano,and basil. I'm planning to use the lemony broth to cook pasta in,then bone the chicken and add it to the pasta and add some fresh broccoli and some butter.I saw a Lemony Potatoes recipe somewhere recently but haven't tried that. I've made Lemon Barbecued Chicken for years,first got the recipe out of my Mom's Betty Crocker.
          I envy you having all those lemons. That would be something completely different to work with,that many fresh lemons. I've dealt with endless green beans,(my son and I canned 256 quarts one year),baskets of okra and tomatoes, several hundred ears of corn that come on at once and hot peppers that grow more than we ever expected.

        2. hhc Mar 19, 2011 05:10 PM

          sausage, chard, lemon lasagna:

          1. s
            SouthToTheLeft Mar 18, 2011 08:51 PM

            So I've made tons of lemon bars, and still lemons remain. In the interest of my waist line, does anyone have ideas for non-sweet things to do with the lemons?

            Perhaps lemon chicken? Good recipes for that?

            4 Replies
            1. re: SouthToTheLeft
              karenfinan Mar 18, 2011 09:05 PM

              I remember a recipe by Nigella Larsen for a lemony chicken. I am going on memory, but cut up one chicken, cut up 3 lemons into chunks ( 8ths) mix in baking dish with olive oil and salt and pepper and several peeled garlic cloves. Bake uncovered at 250 f. yes 250, not 350- for 3 hours. The chicken gets infused with the lemon, and it is really good.
              Lemon chutney is also great, I am hooked on it. I make it with a combo of lemons and limes, it is so good with any meat, eggs, anything really!

              1. re: karenfinan
                SouthToTheLeft Mar 18, 2011 09:07 PM

                Oh! Lemon chutney is a great idea!

                1. re: SouthToTheLeft
                  goodhealthgourmet Mar 18, 2011 09:25 PM

                  if you've got some time on your hands, how about lemon marmalade? or preserved lemons?

                  - lemon rice (use the juice and the zest) with garlic, pepper, fresh herbs, & grated parm...you can even fold in some chopped roasted asparagus.
                  - roast them and serve with chicken or fish.
                  - lemon also plays really well with capers - piccata, anyone?

                  here's a link with some ideas for savory dishes:

              2. re: SouthToTheLeft
                bear Mar 19, 2011 05:37 AM

                How about Rao's Lemon Chicken? Here's an older post. When I made it, two of us loved it and one thought it was way too lemony.

                Here's an older post about it:


                Here's another link to the recipe:


              3. b
                bear Mar 4, 2011 02:36 AM

                Ina Garten's lemon cake is quite good, and would take care of a few of those puppies.


                2 Replies
                1. re: bear
                  TroyTempest Mar 4, 2011 09:24 AM

                  but, remember, it only works with "good" lemons.

                  1. re: TroyTempest
                    bear Mar 4, 2011 09:40 AM

                    Hah. That's true. Wouldn't want those low-brow lemons.

                2. ladooShoppe Mar 2, 2011 06:01 PM

                  What a nice neighbour you have!

                  Limoncello for sure; maybe a lemon sorbet or garnita?

                  I remember throwing a baby shower for a friend a few years ago and the theme color was yellow. Of course, another girl brought over dozens of lemons as "decoration". I kept a bunch for myself and made lemon sorbet and a bunch of candied lemon peel for my colleagues. The girl who brought over the lemons saw me putting a wedge in my glass of water and said, "oh! I love lemon in my water. And to think I'd been going to restaurants for that." True story.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ladooShoppe
                    SouthToTheLeft Mar 3, 2011 10:48 PM

                    You know how hard it is to cut lemons these days...

                    Any good lemon sorbet recipes?

                    1. re: SouthToTheLeft
                      sunshine842 Mar 4, 2011 12:39 AM

                      (I'm going to run with the idea that she just doesn't think about doing it when she's at home.)

                      1. re: SouthToTheLeft
                        nothingswrong Mar 4, 2011 03:51 AM

                        Don't have a lemon sorbet recipe, but have been on a big granita kick lately. Just mix water, pureed fruit pulp and sugar and freeze, scraping with fork every 20-30 minutes so it's like a snow cone. You can also add herbs or other extra flavors (rosemary, lavender, mint, etc.) but with only 3 ingredients, these make tasty and fresh-tasting desserts or snacks. Easy as could be...

                    2. jmcarthur8 Mar 1, 2011 02:07 PM

                      This is a Martha Stewart recipe that I made a few years ago, and have been having a hankering for lately. It is so good and creamy and tart. Makes me pucker just thinking about it.

                      Rich Lemon Ice Cream

                      {makes 1 quart}

                      2 large eggs
                      4 large egg yolks
                      1 1/4 cups sugar
                      3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (Martha says 5, took me 4 juicy ones)
                      1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
                      1 1/4 cups heavy cream
                      1 cup milk (I used whole)

                      1. Prepare an ice-water bath (a big bowl of ice and water). In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest.
                      2. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the mixture coats the back of the spoon, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the cream and milk. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve or cheescloth-lined strainer into a clean bowl set over the ice-water bath to chill.
                      3. Transfer the chilled mixture to an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jmcarthur8
                        SouthToTheLeft Mar 2, 2011 04:13 PM

                        That sounds good! I just need to buy an ice cream maker, then!

                      2. monku Feb 28, 2011 04:22 PM

                        "If life deals you lemons, make lemonade"

                        (sorry, I tried to hold off as long as possible)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: monku
                          goodhealthgourmet Feb 28, 2011 06:44 PM

                          ...and try to find someone whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.

                        2. s
                          sparkareno Feb 28, 2011 09:58 AM

                          FYI--you can pop whole lemons in the freezer...no need to juice them first. In fact they are much easier to juice when they have been frozen because all their little cell walls have been broken. You can't really zest them after freezing as they are too soft.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sparkareno
                            bear Mar 4, 2011 02:35 AM

                            Great tip. Thanks! I wonder if you could zest them first, since you only take off the thin top yellow layer, and then put them in a ziploc? I've frozen leftover zest for a short time before with good results.

                            1. re: bear
                              sparkareno Mar 4, 2011 09:30 AM

                              I don't see why not. That's a good idea. When you defrost the lemons (sometimes I have to nuke them), they are pretty soft anyway---you can't really use them for nice wedges or slices. I sometimes don't even bother with the ziploc--just toss the whole thing in. I am going to try zesting some next time.

                          2. chef chicklet Feb 28, 2011 09:32 AM

                            I have the same dilema! However watching Giada, her Aunt Raffy came up with something different that would work for me. She slices them very thin on her meat slicer (I have a mandoline) and then she dries them in her dehydrator. I've finally a reason to pull mine off the shelf! She uses them for tea during the months when lemons aren't around.
                            Also preserved lemons is another way to go.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: chef chicklet
                              goodhealthgourmet Feb 28, 2011 03:25 PM

                              However watching Giada, her Aunt Raffy came up with something different that would work for me. She slices them very thin on her meat slicer (I have a mandoline) and then she dries them in her dehydrator.
                              chicklet, have you seen our discussion about dried citrus powders?


                            2. c
                              chefathome Feb 28, 2011 09:27 AM

                              Love the limencello idea. In addition , I would definitely make preserved lemons, lemon syrup, preserves such as caramelized onion and lemon, sweet Indian lemon pickles, and so on.

                              Would also use the (dried) zest to make seasoning blends such as lemon rosemary salt or lemon pepper.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chefathome
                                lilgi Feb 28, 2011 09:33 AM

                                Definitely preserved lemons! So useful for cooking. Just preserved some Meyer lemons too.

                              2. Hank Hanover Feb 27, 2011 09:36 PM

                                On another thread, there is a conversation about making your own citrus powder and what you can do with it... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/748894.

                                Check that out.

                                1. q
                                  Querencia Feb 27, 2011 08:20 PM

                                  1-Juice them and freeze the juice. 2-Give thanks. In Chicago they cost a dollar apiece.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Querencia
                                    SouthToTheLeft Feb 27, 2011 08:39 PM

                                    As for number two, trust me, I know. I'm originally from the Frozen East myself.

                                    1. re: Querencia
                                      goodhealthgourmet Feb 27, 2011 09:21 PM

                                      ouch! even at places like Trader Joe's?

                                    2. e
                                      escondido123 Feb 27, 2011 08:10 PM

                                      I had the same thing happen a couple of weeks ago when a friend was going away for a few weeks and decided to pick all her Meyer lemons. All the suggestions you got were great, but my best is to tell you neighbor there is no reason to pick them all they can stay on the tree. I have a Meyer lemon that has ripe fruit starting in January and I'm still picking in the fall with great flavor. It sets fruit more than one time so they are not ripe all at once. All I can say is don't throw away the peel, grate it fine and dry it at the very least. Good luck.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: escondido123
                                        SouthToTheLeft Feb 27, 2011 08:40 PM

                                        I know! But the guy has five trees in his backyard, I think this is just an opening volley of lemons to come.

                                      2. Jay F Feb 27, 2011 08:02 PM

                                        Lemon curd

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Jay F
                                          SouthToTheLeft Feb 27, 2011 08:39 PM

                                          How long does lemon curd hold?

                                          1. re: SouthToTheLeft
                                            sunshine842 Feb 27, 2011 10:50 PM

                                            You can it, just like jam or jelly.

                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                              Caitlin McGrath Feb 28, 2011 12:48 PM

                                              I have always understood that, due to the eggs and butter, lemon curd does not have high-enough acid content and is not considered safe for hot water bath canning, but must be pressure canned. However, it freezes well!

                                            2. re: SouthToTheLeft
                                              Jay F Feb 28, 2011 03:56 PM

                                              A couple of days.

                                          2. Windy Feb 27, 2011 07:48 PM

                                            Lemon curd? Or invite your friends over.

                                            Lemon juice and lemonade freeze well. We had lime trees when I was growing up, and we used to freeze the juice in ice cube trays.

                                            1. goodhealthgourmet Feb 27, 2011 07:47 PM



                                              1. s
                                                sedimental Feb 27, 2011 07:46 PM

                                                +1 on the limoncello. I would also make preserved lemons. Several kinds of them- from regular to spicy ones.

                                                1. TheHuntress Feb 27, 2011 07:34 PM


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