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What to do with a bunch of limes and lemons?

I have a bunch of citrus left over from a cocktail party - about 12 lemons at 3-4 tbsp juice each and 18 limes at 1-2 tbsp juice each. They need to go! So far I've thought of lemon meringue pie, but that uses only 2-3 lemons. Any other ideas? I don't think the limes would be suitable for key lime pie as they are the relatively bitter persian variety, so I might dry them, but that still leaves some to be reckoned with.

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    1. re: ipsedixit

      Haha, when I saw the headline, I immediately thought - duh, lemonade :)

    2. Homemade preserved lemons. And how about the lime cordial (for Gimlets) that was featured in the NYT this week (It needs exactly 18 limes!):


      2 Replies
      1. re: Klunco

        you could also preserve the limes in the same manner

        1. re: Klunco

          Yes, preserved lemons. A batch just finished curing (or whatever the appropriate term is) and they are AMAZING! I used the recipe for "My Favorite Preserved Lemons" on Tigress in a Pickle and they are so so so good. The recipe calls for standard lemons, not Meyer.

        2. Homemade curd.
          lemon Meringue pie.
          Lime Meringue pie.
          Juice them and freeze the juice in ice-cube trays.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sunshine842

            Zest them first and freeze the zest in small freezer bags. Then juice them...

              1. You can juice them, then freeze the juice to be used later. I do this all the time, whenever the limes and lemons begin to go past their prime. I usually use the lemon juice for lemonaide, and the lime juice for margaritas, but if you freeze in small containers, the juice is also handy for those times you need a bit of citrus juice and have no fresh fruits.

                1. If it was me, I'd either o.d. on lemon/lime desserts of every single stripe, or I'd: juice them, and then measure the juice into ziploc bags; label them w/ qty. (no more than a half-cup per bag, though), lay them flat onto rimmed sheet pans, and freeze. then they stack upright and take up no room whatsoever. You can dry the zest, also. And don't forget the savory aspect: you can make a beercan chicken with limes, or a tagine with preserved (salted) lemons. A pitcher of fresh lemonade made with real sugar syrup is great to have on hand too - and you can always make the lemon syrup and dilute as needed, if you haven't the need for a lot of premade beverage at one time.

                  1. Love Ina's lemon cake and then freeze what's left for summer drinks or make lemon curd for summer tarts...


                    1. I have a container that I keep in the fridge specifically for citrus juice. It started out being a ready source of fresh key lime juice for margaritas but has since morphed into a container for mixed citrus juice, though, lime is still the predominate juice in it. The primary use is for Margaritas, but I've found that I reach for it frequently anytime something needs some acid. It goes in salad dressings, marinades, drinks, desserts and is splashed over fish at the end of cooking. Any place a recipe calls for lemon or lime juice I use the juice in my little container.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        How long does your citrus mixture last in the fridge? I have 3 small limes and 3 large lemons and that sounds like a great option to keep on hand...

                        1. Lemon lime sorbet! I just polished off the batch of sour lime sorbet I made last night and it was fantastic.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: TheHuntress

                            Can you please give me your measurements for the lemon-lime sorbet? I have found that I have a ton of simple syrup, and should make some citrus sorbet with it all, pronto!! Thanks in advance!

                            1. re: Phurstluv

                              Of course! The recipe I use is 2 cups sugar to 2 cups water for the syrup and then to that I add 1 1/2 cups of lime juice (I throw in some lemon if I don't have quite enough lime) and about a tablespoon of lime zest. It turns out wonderfully sweet and tart, which is just how I like it :)

                              1. re: TheHuntress

                                Great, thanks so much, I'm going to stock up on limes now. So you mainly use limes, but supp with a little lemon juice to make 1 1/2cups. Easy enough.

                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                  Yup, but if I have all lime I use all lime. You can pretty much play around with the lemon lime ratio to whatever your taste is.

                          2. One of my old cookbooks had a recipe for a 'Shaker Lemon Pie' that I never made, but it looked really good. It had paper thin lemon slices layered to fill the pie crust, including peel and rind, and lots of sugar. I found several links online.. most have a top crust, but the one I remember had a nice pattern of concentric circles of lemons, no top crust.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                              Oh my! That sounds really fantastic! Do you still have the links to the recipes you found?

                              1. re: stefzehn

                                You know, a baking friend and I have both made this pie and agree it is just plain nasty. The bitterness of the peel overwhelms it. Cooks Country TV show (I think, that or ATK) made an updated version which sounded reasonably good. Don't waste your time or citrus on the original.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Thanks for the warning, buttertart! I had a picture in my mind that it would be kind of like marmalade, but I wouldn't like it if it's too bitter.... Did you use Meyer lemons? Would that work better?

                                  stefzehn, I didn't save the links, I just wandered around looking at recipes.

                                  1. re: jmcarthur8

                                    I seem to be the only person on earth who doesn't like Meyer lemons, so no, regular ones.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      i agree about meyer lemons. not lemony enough for me. not orangey enough either. it's like citrus designed by committee

                                      1. re: thew

                                        Very much so. When we first lived in Berkeley we were warned off using the backyard lemons as not being very good. Have been bemused to find them in the ascendancy ever since.

                            2. I second the idea of making lemon curd. It's delicious on toast, scones, as a filling for pavlova...and it makes great gifts too.

                              If you are in a fish eating mood lemon beurre blanc is a great sauce for almost any fish.

                                  1. Here's a new-to-me use for lemons, Celery Lemonade...


                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Oooh, I like this VERY much - consider the cuke, too.

                                    2. ghg pointed out several lemony posts but did not include mine
                                      Here you find recipes for lemoncello, Rao's lemon chicken, and Ina's broccoli and bow ties. I like each of these so much that I've repeated all of them. I started another batch of lemoncello last weekend and will make Rao's chicken with split breasts. Be careful salting the chicken, the flavors concentrate when you reduce the sauce at the end.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: AreBe

                                        i didn't mean to neglect your post, i just got tired of copying & pasting! but the OP might have eventually found it in the search results link i provided ;)

                                        strangely enough i've had lemon chicken on the brain lately, so i'm glad you mentioned it - i need to make some this week.

                                      2. This is my favorite Preserved Lemons recipe. From Patricia Wells, very easy and so so good:

                                        PRESERVED LEMONS

                                        2 lemons, preferably organic
                                        1/3 cup Coarse Sea Salt
                                        1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
                                        About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

                                        Scrub the lemons and dry them well. Cut each lemon lengthwise into 8 wedges. In a bowl, toss the lemon wedges, salt and lemon juice to coat the fruit. Transfer to a 2-cup glass container with a non-metal lid. Close the container tightly and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 7 days. She the container daily to evenly distribute the salt and juices. To store, add olive oil to cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.


                                        I use the juices that form in salad dressings, marinades, etc. My favorite way to roast a chicken, now, is to rub the insides and outside of a chicken with the juices, along with garlic, herbs and salt, and put a few of the lemons inside the cavity. Yum. You can use the juices to spread on fish or chicken before grilling, even a steak. And I love to chop up the lemons themselves and add them to couscous or salads made of grains and vegetables. There are so many uses for them. Do give it a try!

                                        1. I like to add thai basil and a diced jalapeno to my lemonade.

                                          1. Gin and tonics consumed in very large numbers.

                                            1. You can slice some up in wedges and freeze them that way and add them to drinks later for ice.

                                              Just googled and found this recipe, but I don't know what it tastes like: http://www.bakersroyale.com/fast-and-...

                                              Greek lemon/egg soup?