Meyer Lemon: Citrus Salt, Simple Syrup, Powdered Pectin & Scrub

meyer-salt-syrup-scrubSo 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…

Beautiful organic Meyer lemons from Lemon Ladies Orchard. Citrus salt adapted from 101 Cookbooks. Lemon scouring scrub adapted from Crunchy Betty.

meyer-salt-syrup-scrubINGREDIENTS

Meyer Lemon Citrus 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
  • borax
  • baking soda

meyer-salt-syrup-scrubMETHODS

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

meyer-salt-syrup-scrubOPTIONS

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I used half of the zest from the dozen lemons for cavatelli; otherwise, simply double the recipe for Meyer salt.

STORE

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.

SEASON

Winter into early Spring.

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18 comments

  1. Love the combo of salt types in your citrus salt. ME salt is one of the few things I splurge on from Stonewall Kitchen, although I always vow to find a source thats more transparent. I noticed the original recipe calls for baking til its dry and crumbly, over an hour but you did 5mins, then let it dry overnight. Caveats of each way, or is yours just based on ease?
    I’ve still got a dozen from the bags I brought home a week ago and all weekend to get them finished up. Debating between some more salt or just drying the peels in the oven, as well as curd for work (for tea and jam day).

    • When I heated the oven up to dry the salt, it seemed REALLY hot. I couldn’t imagine the salt/peels were going to need a whole hour to dry and I didn’t want to bake all of the flavor out of the peel. The 5 min/overnight rest got it plenty dry; maybe in the damp NorCal winter and fresh-from-the-tree citrus, you need a bit more drying time.

      • purplefdu

        Good deal. I think I ended up with 30mins the last time, which even then might have been a bit much. 70 minutes seemed excessive for salt and citrus peel.

    • Oh, and I’m not sure where you are in Maine, but John Edwards in Ellsworth is where I get my Maine Sea Salt: the half-lb bag is about $5-6. Really not bad for specialty salt. I hear rumors that if you visit the actual company in Marshfield it is even cheaper, but I haven’t made it there yet.

      • purplefdu

        Right now, York Beach. 5minute drive from the Stonewall Kitchen headquarters. My mom goes on vacations up the coast though so I try to beg her to stop at local places and pickup honey or spices if I can. :)

        • Well, if she wanders by Ellsworth, John Edwards also has all sorts of locally grown organic dried beans: a ton of varieties. It’s spendy in there, by Maine standards, but compared to Manhattan, a bargain! :)

  2. I usually end up using all my meyer lemon zest to make batches of limoncello, and put the juice in the freezer…but making citrus salt and simple syrup sound just amazing too! It looks like I need to diversify just a bit. :)

  3. Posts like this are why I love this blog: I applaud your efforts to use everything and to teach us to do so — I never would have thought to make pectin from zested lemon rinds. Thank you.

  4. I feel like your neighbors wouldn’t mind meyer lemon marmalade in their mailboxes. I know I wouldn’t. These recipes look amazing! I live on a ranch at the moment, plenty of lemons (though not meyer) on the ground and ready to be gleaned. I’m going to try making pectin next, though Strawberry + Meyer Lemon Marmalade has been on my list for awhile too. The list just keeps growing! ;)

  5. Pingback: In the Kitchen this Week: 5/17/2013 | gather round kitchen

  6. Maggie

    I am a tad confused (my natural state really) – it reads to use the seeds in the pectin but doesn’t mention it again in the method.
    Can you please elaborate – thanks so much .. Maggie

    • You can include peels and seeds in the pectin: whatever you have leftover. I use the lemons for other purposes, and freeze the leftover husks (with seeds or not; doesn’t really matter) until I have enough to make pectin.

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