Winter Citrus Bounty

During the summer months, I’m famous for my lemon sorbet.  I use Meyer lemons from the tree outside the back door and feed the finished product to my girlfriends when we get together for high tea or some other summer thing that girls do. Now that it’s winter, not many people are thinking about lemon sorbet, except for my friend Orna, who has a tree full of lemons and doesn’t know what to do with them.  She recently wrote me to ask for my lemon sorbet recipe. 

For those in Zone 10, you might be up to your knees in lemons too, so here are a few ideas for what to do with your lemons during the winter:

Freeze them whole – if you wash and dry your lemons and throw them into the freezer whole, you’ll have them at the ready to defrost and use for juice any time of the year.  You won’t be able to use the skin for zest, but the juice will be just as good as the day you picked the lemon.

Make Ice Cubes – after juicing all your lemons, pour the juice into ice cube trays and freeze them, then store the cubes in plastic bags to throw into soups, glasses of water or anything else that needs the bright flavor of lemons.

Freeze in 1 1/2 cup Quantities – you can freeze juice in any quantity you like, but this is the amount you’ll need for the Lemon Sorbet recipe below.  Freeze juice in either tightly sealed freezer bags, or plastic containers in quantities that you can easily defrost for lemonade later on.

And now, my recipe for Lemon Sorbet – it comes from the instruction manual for the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.  No lie.

Fresh Lemon Sorbet

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon zest

Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer without stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes.
Cool completely.
This is called a simple syrup, and may be made ahead in larger quantities to have on hand for making lemon sorbet.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
When cool, add the lemon juice and zest; stir to combine. Transfer to an ice cream maker (or in the case of the Cuisinart, turn the machine on and then pour in the mixture.
Mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes.

Buon Appetito!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Christy Wilhelmi

    Ah yes, there are plenty of places to deliver extra fruit:

    Food Forward –  – they “convene at properties we have been invited to and glean the excess fruit on their trees, donating 100% to local food pantries.”

    Fallen Fruit –  – depending on where you live, they might be able to take your excess fruit off your hands.

    Los Angeles Regonal Food Bank – – you can donate your fruit to them, but call first to make sure they are accepting citrus, given the recent quarantine. 

    That’s just for starters.  You can always call your local food pantry or homeless shelter and see if they would accept your fruit.  They most likely would be delighted and the look on their faces when fresh fruit walks in the door is worth the trip to haul it over there.

  2. Orna

    Thank you Christy! So excited to make some sorbet. As always, you over-delivered so now I have a ton of ideas to make use of all these Meyer Lemons. You are truly The Best!

  3. Carolyn Patterson

    What about oranges? We have a big crop in January and February (2 trees).
    Also, could you list places that would accept extra produce (shelters, etc.)? Thanks.

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