Lemon Overload
January 11, 2009 7:49 AM   Subscribe

What can I do with a ton of lemon juice?

I have just finished zesting 20 lemons to make a batch of delicious limoncello. It seems wrong to throw away all those lovely organic lemons. I would make lemonade, but winter and lemonade just don't go together to me. I considered lemon curd, but Wii Fit keeps telling me I'm a tub o lard, so I'm hoping to think of something not excessively caloric. If push comes to shove, I'm going to try freezing it for summer, but I'm hoping that the hive mind has a better idea.
posted by Lame_username to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Hot lemonade.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:57 AM on January 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Freeze it into cubes put the cubes in a freezer bag and save for the spring/summer.

Lemon juice itself is pretty low in calorie. It's what you do with it that changes that. One of my favorites is a recipe from Jacques Pepin call Broccoli Piquante. It is essentially, steamed broccoli with a lemon vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is (roughly) 1/4C olive oil, 1/4C lemon juice, 1/2 t salt, several solid dashes of hot sauce (e.g., Tabasco). Put ingredients in a jar with a tight light and shake to combine.
posted by plinth at 7:59 AM on January 11, 2009 [2 favorites]

If you freeze it, start it out in little ice cube trays, then dump the frozen cubes into a baggie or tub.

Then you can have a little lemon juice ready for when you're cooking fish, or making salad dressing, or making a tasty, tasty marinade.
posted by burntflowers at 8:00 AM on January 11, 2009

You could have fun writing invisible ink messages all winter long.
posted by CoralAmber at 8:04 AM on January 11, 2009

Best answer: Our lemon tree's production has also gone into hyperdrive; yesterday I zested and squeezed more than a dozen lemons (and barely made a dent in what's still on the tree). I'm planning on freezing the juice in ice cube trays, and candying the zest, as we already have an abundance of citrus-flavored alcohol, so I don't think I'm going there.

Someone I know suggested lemon chicken, so I'm going to give this recipe a try - there's no additional oil in it, and you can always not eat the skin.
posted by rtha at 8:16 AM on January 11, 2009

Just for clarification, have you already juiced the lemons, or are they still intact, minus zest?

In the latter case, you can always use (slightly mangled) lemon slices and wedges as a garnish for food & drink, although, yes, the juice is far more versatile and would be easier to preserve.

Nthing the suggestions to freeze the juice. Then again, twenty lemons don't really make all that much juice, so you might get away with just bottling it and sticking it in the fridge.

In my experience, nearly everything is made better with a little bit of lemon. Add it to salads (from caesar to potato), soups (Too salty? Add lemon. Warning: Use sparingly. Offer not valid with cream soups, unless you like it curdled), anything beany, and anywhere you'd normally use vinegar as flavoring (fish & chips, etc.).
posted by Sys Rq at 8:20 AM on January 11, 2009

Response by poster: I just have a mound of zested lemons. I've not yet juiced them. They are imparting a nice lemony scent to my kitchen at the moment.
posted by Lame_username at 8:23 AM on January 11, 2009

You could make the Dutch Kwast, a hot drink for people who are (or have a) cold. The basic recipe is to squeeze the juice of one lemon into a mug, fill up with hot water, add some honey. However, it's nice to add some extra flavour with perhaps something like brandy or rum, some other citrus juice and/or cinnamon.
posted by bjrn at 8:26 AM on January 11, 2009

Best answer: Various recipes for preserved lemons suggest topping up the jar with fresh squeezed lemon juice after you stuff in your lemons and salt. You would have to get more lemons, which seems a little silly, but it's a lot more exciting than lemon ice cubes. Also if you have any minor gift giving occasions coming up, you could make a lot more than you thought you could use and put them in nice jars.

They sit for about a month before you use them, then keep for a year. Here's a link, and you can google for recipes. You can also add whole spices to the jar (like peppercorns, or coriander, or bay leaves, or whatever suits your fancy), but you might just want to do it straight up for the first round.

curbing sudden urge to go to the store and get twenty pounds of lemons
posted by felix grundy at 8:39 AM on January 11, 2009

Best answer: Lemon Shandy, especially if you're watching football this afternoon.
posted by carmicha at 8:45 AM on January 11, 2009

If you freeze it, then when you need to you can use it for many other things that require just a little bit of lemon juice (guacamole, putting on apples, making drinks, squirting into the eyes of your enemies, etc).
posted by NoraReed at 8:56 AM on January 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

The frozen cubes for later use is a good idea.

You could always lighten your hair color by rinsing your hair in lemon juice.
posted by j at 9:09 AM on January 11, 2009

- Slice and freeze slices - add to drinks all summer long. It'd be a shame to dilute alcohol with water when there is no need to add ice cubes - not sure you'd want the equivalent of jan ice cube's worth of lemon juice all the time.

- Make lemon curd with the juice - home made is much nicer.
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:34 AM on January 11, 2009

If you have an ice cream maker, lemon sorbet is stupidly easy to make, and uses 1:2 ratio of lemon juice to simple syrup.
posted by gatorae at 10:15 AM on January 11, 2009

margarita party!
posted by phredgreen at 12:08 PM on January 11, 2009

Or a lemon drop party!
posted by pombe at 12:36 PM on January 11, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the ideas. I have indulged in a few shandies whilst watching some football and hacked up a lemon curd recipe to make it much lighter than the standard version. The lemon curd is insanely great, even with 50% Splenda and removing a few egg yolks. I also froze two ice cube trays of lemon juice and I still have about a pint of lemon juice left over. The lemon juice ice cubes remain a bit tacky on the surface, but I guess I don't care about that (the shandies may have helped with that). I'm going to try the chicken recipe tomorrow and the addition of hot sauce to the vinaigrette seems interesting.
posted by Lame_username at 12:50 PM on January 11, 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie!

Also, I've been obsessing on Israeli salad, which is sooo good: diced cukes, some diced cherry tomatoes, a little minced red onion and tons of fresh lemon juice. Olive oil and parsley traditional, but optional.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:03 PM on January 11, 2009

Best answer: Here are some lemon juice ideas that aren't recipes.
posted by sambosambo at 1:30 PM on January 11, 2009

Spinach salad: spinach, crumbled bacon, hardboiled eggs, mandarin orange slices.
Dressing: lemon juice, honey, olive oil.
posted by theora55 at 3:45 PM on January 11, 2009

Juice them and make lemon syrup for flavoring tea, vodka, carbonated drinks, or sparkling water, or drizzling over ice cream. 1/2 cup of lemon juice will make about 2-3 cups of syrup. You can flavor them with peppercorns, basil, coriander, clove, you name it. I live on this stuff.
posted by nax at 4:18 PM on January 11, 2009

What, no lemon jelly? I've just had it for breakfast. It's really intense and really delicious.
posted by leigh1 at 5:33 AM on January 12, 2009

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