Last Spring a friend would bring us a jar of honey every time he saw us. We have honey from all over the Texas range...so this week I was staring at the jars of it and decided to try something new. "Preserving" lemons in it. I use quotations because you aren't really preserving them, more like a giving them a good soak, allowing the honey to seep into every part of the lemon, and for the lemon juice to do the same to the honey, and then you are separating the two. The end result is pretty great, and so versatile. I am finding new ways to use my honeyed lemon slices and my "lemoned" honey every day! And just this week my oldest son came down with pneumonia (gah), but I loved that I had raw honey on hand that already had lemon juice it.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!
Anyway, the process takes a few days, and a few shakes and a few pretty (purple!!!) canning jars! And then you are on your way. But should we just stop right here and talk a little bit more about the purple Heritage Collection canning jars I have? Swoon. Yeah, what can I say, I love canning jars, especially antique ones, or green ones, or blue ones...or purple ones! I have a vase full of yellow tulips sitting on my fireplace mantel right now, in a purple jar. And oh. So pretty! Come on Spring.
If you want a few of your own, head on over to Ball Canning and get yourself a set, or two...
Alright, now let's honey a few lemons.
What you will need:
2-3 regular sized lemons
Around 1 heaping cup of (preferably raw) honey
1 sterilized pint jar, ring and lid
What you will do:
Thoroughly wash and dry the lemons. Now slice them thinly, like you were going to put them into your ice water, or tea (because that's what you'll do in a few days!) Next you will carefully remove any seeds you find and dispose.
Carefully take your honey and pour a little bit in the bottom of your pint sized jar and then add a few lemon slices and then some more honey...then a few more lemon slices, and continue until your jar is full. Place lid and ring on the jar and give it a good shake. I mean a really good shake. Then set it in the fridge. And walk away, until the next day, when you will again shake it up again. You want to make sure each lemon slice gets good and soaked in the honey.
Allow your honeyed lemons to sit in the fridge for at least two days. After two days, go ahead and give the honey a taste. If you want it to be a bit more lemon tasting, put the lid back on, shake it vigorously and place in the fridge for another day. But be careful, you do not want your lemons to be in the honey longer than three days. After three days the lemon rinds start affecting the taste of the honey adversely. To say it another way: it will get bitter! blah! We don't want that. So my advise is to let lemon slices sit in the honey for 2 days and then remove. Which leads us to our next step.
Carefully remove the honeyed lemons and set them on a plate. Cut into halves or quarters and freeze. I quartered mine and put them in a small mason jar. Reserve the honey in the pint sized jar and place back in fridge.
You can use your lemon slices and honey for so many different things. Some of our favorite way to use them is in hot tea, as a topping on our breakfast yogurt and granola, in ice cubes, and in lots of different scone and muffin recipes...the possibilities are endless.
But it's just so nice to make a hot cup of tea and throw in a teaspoon, or two of the lemon honey right out of the fridge.