I know most of you have a lemon tree by the front door, maybe a Tahitian lime too, and mandarins, oranges, grapefruits, and keffir limes?! Now is the time to get ready to process all these goodies, because, clearly, we cannot give them all away to work colleagues, or worse, let them rot on the ground (that would be disastrous for the next few years of fruit fly control).
Here is what we do to manage our glut of citrus at the farm:
– Squeeze and store in ice cube trays (perfect for lime/lemon) or plastic bottles (orange, grapefruits juice)
– Slice and freeze on a biscuit tray then once frozen, transfer to a Ziploc bag
– Make a citrus cleaner by covering the peels/zests in a solution of 2 parts water to 1 part sugar. Let it macerate for two weeks, then transfer the liquid to a plastic bottle for further use (filter well through a tea towel first to remove any debris that could clog up a spray bottle. I use it diluted 1 part water to 1 part citrus cleaner in a spray bottle for kitchen bench tops, bathrooms, etc.)
– Freeze whole fruits (mandarins, oranges) for a year long supply of ‘fresh’ fruits for that yummy whole mandarin cake you do so well!
– Make a marmalade or jelly. See recipe below.
Citrus juice – 2kg
Sugar – 2kg
Pectin – 25g
1. Wash fruits, squeeze citrus and reserve the juice.
2. In a muslin cloth, wrap the peels/zests, gather the four corners and make a knot. Let it stand in the juice overnight.
3. The next day, remove muslin bag and squeeze as much liquid from it as possible.
4. Bring the juice to a low boil, then add sugar.
5. Bring it to a rolling boil for 15 minutes then add pectin and return to the boil for another 10-15 minutes.
6. Check if jelly is set (put a teaspoon on a frozen plate and check it gels up or not). Cook some more if needed.
7. Turn heat off, and once mixture is not boiling anymore transfer into jars. Put the lid on and flip the jar onto its lid (to prevent any air to be sucked in when the vacuum is created inside the jar))