With their bright, puckery flavor profile, lemons lend themselves easily to being the star of any kind of preserve, whether it’s a marmalade, curd, infusion, dried candy or even a savory condiment. This time of year, we especially love preserving the sweeter, more aromatic Meyer lemon, in season during late winter and early spring.
Lemon trees tend to bear fruit in sizable crops; if you have a plant nearby, don’t be surprised at the large size of your haul. Instead, next time life hands you lemons, add one—or all!—of these five fabulous lemon provisions to your larder.
Limoncello, the century-old digestivo that originated near Naples, Italy, gets its lemony hue and flavor from grain alcohol that’s been steeped in lemon zest with simple syrup. While limoncello is fantastic served chilled, it’s also wonderful in cocktails, like limoncello martinis.
2. Lemon Curd
One can create a curd, or dessert spread, out of just about any fruit, but the most popular (and our most beloved) is lemon curd. Beat lemon juice and zest with egg yolks and sugar until creamy and thick, then serve it alongside scones or muffins. See our step-by-step how-to on making citrus curds.
3. Meyer Lemon Marmalade
Marmalade is most commonly made using oranges, but mild, thin-skinned, mandarin-esque Meyer lemons are also well-suited to the sweet, spreadable preserve. This Meyer lemon-ginger marmalade makes for a lovely weekend project.
4. Candied Lemon
Crystallized fruit is one of the oldest forms of lemon preservation; glacés have been around since the 14th century. To make candied lemon, cut thin strips of lemon peel, candy them in a basic sugar syrup and roll them in superfine sugar after drying. The sweet, tangy treats make a perfect gift. (See our step-by-step on how to candy citrus zest.)
5. Preserved Lemons
Preserved lemon—a staple ingredient in North Africa—is becoming increasingly popular stateside, too. This condiment, which is simply lemons left to sit in salt, adds a wonderful acidity to salads, fish, roasts and stews.