A surfeit of lemons

4 09 2006

At certain times of the year, friends and colleagues who have lemon trees end up with way more fruit than they can possibly use. So I’m always a willing recipient of any lemons that they’re giving away, and have been known to come home with bags of them!

So what do I do with all those lemons? Well, I rarely use them straight off. I “squeeze and freeze” them, ready for use later in the year for any recipe that requires fresh lemon juice.

Because I don’t have anything fancy for squeezing them – just my dear departed Nana’s old glass juicer – I microwave the lemons for 1 minute (2 at a time), then cut them in half and squeeze them using her juicer. Microwaving makes the flesh slightly softer and seems to release the juice better. All I know is that I get more juice out of a lemon I’ve microwaved briefly than I do out of those I don’t!

After squeezing them, I put the juice, pulp, and seeds through a strainer, then pour the juice into ice cube trays. I usually get between 2 and 5 teaspoons of juice per ice cube. Once frozen, I break out the lemon ice cubes, put them into Zip Lock bags, then pop the bags back in the freezer.

Voila! Instant fresh lemon juice all year round whenever I need it! One lemon ice cube popped into a cup of green tea first thing in the morning is very refreshing, and lemon ice cubes added to water in summer time is just as delightful.