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When Life Gives You Lemons!

Many gardens have a lemon tree, and one thing you'd know about lemons is that they can be tremendously prolific bearers.  So sometimes you have a glut of this fruit (after all - how many nights a week can you have fish and chips?).  Besides freezing the juice for use out of season - here are a few favourite, easy recipes to use some of the surplus and enjoy it later.


Lemon Cordial

  • Approx. 4 cups/880gms sugar (or less - to taste)
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 tablespoon citric acid
  • 1 tablespoon tartaric acid
  • juice of 8 large lemons strained
  • finely grated zest of 2 lemons (optional)

Dissolve sugar in water over heat (don't use an aluminium pan for this).  Add citric and tartaric acids.  Stir gently to ensure all has completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool .  Stir in lemon juice and zest.  Bottle into clean, dry bottles.  Store in the fridge.  Can also be frozen.  To serve - dilute to taste with water, or for a fizzy treat - lemonade, soda or mineral water.  Makes approx. 2 litres.


Lemon Butter

  • 2 dessertspoon butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 5 eggs

Melt butter, sugar and lemon juice gently until all sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Beat eggs in a different bowl and pour them into the lemon mixture, stirring as you go.
Return to the  heat and stir constantly until it thickens.  Be careful with the heat to ensure the mix cooks slowly - you don't want the eggs to curdle.  Remove from heat when mix is smooth and creamy.  Put into warm sterilised jars and seal.  Store in the fridge for up to two months.  Makes approx. 2 cups.


Lemon Delicious Slice Recipe


  • 150gm butter
  • ½ teasp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tablesp cornflour
  • 1 1/3 cups plain flour

Lemon Topping

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teasp finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 180oc (160oc for fan forced oven)
2. Grease a 3cm deep, 16cm x 26cm slice tin and line with baking paper.
3. Place butter in a large microwave safe bowl and melt on medium heat for 1 minute (or until melted) Set aside to cool.
4. Stir in vanilla and sugar, sift flours over butter mixture.
5. Using a wooden spoon stir until a soft dough forms. Press into tin and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
6. Topping: Whisk eggs, lemon rind, flour and sugar together until smooth. Add lemon juice and whisk to combine.
7. Pour over base and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until just set. Cool completely in pan.
8. Cut into small fingers and dust with icing sugar to serve.

This slice can be frozen.


Preserved Lemons

  • 150gm salt
  • 6 lemons, washed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • lemon juice, extra

Place a tablespoon of salt into a large sterilised jar.  Cut lemons into quarters and place in a large bowl (not metal).  Add the remaining salt and combine well.
Pack the lemons into the jar and add spices between the layers.  Pack down tightly - it's ok if some of the juice is released.  The lemons then need to be completely covered with juice (use the extra squeezed juice for this).

Seal the jar and allow the lemons to mature for at least one month before using.  Will keep for up to 12 months.

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