A friend of mine recently shared his lemon harvest with me, to which I was extremely grateful. Citrus has been my Achilles heel. I love to use the fragrant fruit in my kitchen in a multitude of ways, but over the last decade of being here a flourishing citrus grove has been elusive. It turns out they don’t like wet feet and so many poor unfortunately trees have drowned because of me and my determined attempts to have what I want.
I now have a lime and a lemon safely high and dry in large containers. However, they are still too young to bear fruit, but it won’t be too long before I have my own abundance. Until then my friend has been very generous and it would seem I have done him a favour to relieve him of the burden of too many lemons.
Now one thing we have is too many eggs. The rescue chickens are now fully feathered and full of personality. However, they are still laying like the little factory chickens they were and the bowl on the bench we keep them in often overflows, in spite of giving them away to anyone who dares to set foot on our doorstep.
The coming together of these two fabulous ingredients means only one thing – it is time to make the magnificent Lemon Honey. When we have our own lemons coming out of our ears I’m sure this will be a regular feature across a hot buttered slice of toast. But until then it is a rare delicacy to be savoured.
It isn’t difficult at all to make for this fabulous flavour reward. You start by melting 250g of butter in a bowl sitting on top of a pot of boiling water. Make sure it is a large pot with plenty of water so it doesn’t boil away to nothing in the thickening process.
Once the butter has melted, add 4 cups of sugar and the juice of 8 lemons. The recipe I used for also said the zest of all those lemons, but while I like the flavour they introduce – I don’t really like the bitter little bits, so I only put in a token amount. It’s my lemon honey for my hot buttered toast so I can do what I like!
While the sugar is dissolving, beat 8 eggs in another bowl, then add a bit of the lemony mixture to the eggs and mix well, then add the bowl of eggs to the lemony mixture in the pot. I assume this is to stop the eggs scrambling. The next stage is a bit tedious because it takes ages (less than an hour but still in this fast-paced world that is a long time). The mixture needs to be stirred constantly until it thickens. You can use the jam setting technique of popping a blob on a cold plate to check to see if it is ready as it thickens further when cooled. Then once it is thick enough – put it into sterile jars, cool and store in the fridge. This recipe gave us just over 5 jars of delicious goodness, that won’t last long around here.
While it did use a fair few lemons, I still have plenty left, so I’m thinking of making some Lemoncello. I’ve made that before and you can check it out >HERE<, maybe some lemon cordial and the rest will be used in a soothing hot lemon drink to help shake a nasty head cold I seem to have picked up.
Lemons are a fabulous fruit to have on hand.
Come again soon – the rain has stopped for now and the sun is shining, such a strange occurrence.
Sarah the Gardener : o)