So you say the pantry is already stocked with more marmalade than you can eat in a year (or two? or three? Ahem.) You’ve made lemon pasta (twice!), lemon lentil salad, boozy lemon bars, lemon curd shortcake, and lots of lemony margaritas? The craziness of Spring: visiting friends, impending work deadlines, and mandatory weeknight campfires is upon you? But still, you have this big pile of gorgeous California citrus to enjoy? Well, my friends: I’m here to help.
Dispatch a dozen lovely Meyer lemons quicker than you can say “Salt, rocks, please.” Zest ‘em all and whip up some fab citrus salt. Juice the zested beauties for Impromptu Margarita Party Meyer lemon syrup. Then, in the ultimate waste-not-want-not maneuver, dry and grind the zested peels for pectin & scouring scrub. Hey presto! Meyer lemon goodness to enjoy throughout the year. And you won’t have to start sneaking jars of marmalade into your neighbors’ mailboxes…
Meyer Lemon Citrus Salt
- zest from 6 Meyer lemons (about 3 tbsp, packed)
- ½ cup flaky Kosher salt
- ¼ cup Maldon flaky sea salt
- ¼ cup coarsely ground Maine sea salt
Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup
- 2 cups Meyer lemon juice (from about 12 lemons)
- 2 cups sugar (I used organic evaporated cane juice, but choose white refined sugar for brightest color)
Meyer Lemon Powdered Pectin
- peels & seeds from 12 Meyer lemons
Meyer Lemon Scouring Scrub
- dried & ground Meyer lemon peel, from above
- baking soda
- Citrus salt. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. On a rimmed baking tray, combine lemon zest and salts, rubbing well between your palms, really working the zest into the salt and breaking up larger salt crystals as you go. Spread the zested salt evely over the surface of the baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn off the oven, leaving salt inside to dry out overnight.
- Simple syrup. In a medium saucepan, combine strained juice and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently for 5 minutes.
- Powdered pectin. Place the zested & juiced husks of a dozen Meyer lemons into the bowl of a food processor or strong blender (in batches, if necessary). Pulse until very finely chopped. Spread evenly onto the trays of a dehydrator and dry at 120 degrees F until completely crisp and powdery, about 12 – 18 hours. Alternatively, dry in a low oven overnight. Break up dried peel and pulverize once again in a food processor, blender or mortar & pestle. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve: use the finest powder for pectin, the larger-grain peel for lemon scrub.
- Lemon peel scouring scrub. In a pint jar with lid, combine coarse-grained ground dried lemon peel with an equal volume of borax and twice the volume of baking soda. My amounts were approximately ⅓ cup lemon peel, ⅓ cup borax and ⅔ cup baking soda. Shake well to combine. To use, sprinkle generously on surface to be cleaned and scrub with a dampened sponge. Be sure to rinse thoroughly: once borax dries it is difficult to remove.
Yields: about 1 cup lemon salt, 2 ½ cups lemon syrup, about ¼ cup powdered pectin, and 1 ⅓ cups scouring scrub.
- Obviously, this will work with any citrus: you may need to adjust the amount of sugar in the simple syrup based on how sweet/tart your fruit it.
- You can save the rinds from citrus you’ve eaten out of hand in the freezer: once you have a big enough batch, grind & dry for pectin or scrub.
- I used half of the zest from the dozen lemons for cavatelli; otherwise, simply double the recipe for Meyer salt.
Lemon salt should be stored in an airtight container at cool, dry room temperature. Syrup can be canned in a boiling water bath or refrigerated for up to 1 month. Powdered pectin can be stored in an airtight container at cool, dry room temperature: since commercial pectin expires and loses potency over time, I suspect homemade pectin will as well. Use within 1 year. Lemon scouring scrub can be stored at room temperature indefinitely.
Winter into early Spring.