When Life Gives You Lemons – Part 5: sweet lemon pickle [Guest Blogger]

Lemon TreeOur Guest Blogger is Ross, from Christchurch, NZ.  

You may recall the lovely series of lemon-glut busting recipes which Ross shared with us back in November last year.  He’s back today, with another lovely lemon preserve.  He says of this one “This recipe is a keeper! Much, much nicer than the hot oily one.”

Sweet lemon (or lime) pickle

The hot lemon pickle recipe is, well, hot. Great if that’s what you’re looking for, but sometimes you want something sweeter, less oily and less incendiary. This pickle is easier to make, too.

Prep time: 20 mins
Maturing time: 3-4 weeks

This makes somewhere over 1kg of pickle (I didn’t think to weigh it).

  • About 500g of lemons. (Or limes. Confusingly, the two words seem to often be used interchangeably in Indian English. I haven’t tried this recipe with limes but I expect it’ll be just as great.)
  • 100g salt
  • 500g white sugar
  • 250g demerara sugar (Note: Some recipes call for grated jaggery. If you can get hold of some, great!)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder of your desired heat

This recipe is almost entirely jar-based. You need space to throw the salt and sugar around, so it’s back to our old friend the large kilner jar – sterilised, of course.

Wash and dry the fruit. As usual, make sure you’ve removed any wax.

Squeeze a few fruits until you’ve collected about 125ml (1/2 cup) of juice. Keep the skins!

Cut the skins, and the remaining whole fruit, into pieces that are the right sort of size that you want to find in your pickle. This might be eighths or quarters, depending on your taste and the size of the fruit. Put all the chopped pieces into the jar.

Mix the juice, salt and turmeric, pour it over the fruit.

Compress the fruit in the jar so that it’s all covered by liquid.

When you add the sugar, it sinks.Put the lid on and leave the jar in a warm sunny place. While it’s ‘cooking’, give the mixture a good shake-up every couple of days. You’re waiting until the fruit has softened; expect this to take about a week and a half, longer if it’s cold.

Throw in the sugar and mix well.

Put the jar in a safe place (doesn’t have to be sunny this time) for another week and a half or so. The sugar sinks, so give it a good stir every couple of days. Before adding the chilli.When most or all of the sugar has dissolved, it’s ready. I found three distinct layers – floating lemon pieces, the denser sugary syrup, and the undissolved sugar.

After adding the chilliFinally, add the chilli powder and stir well.

It’s now ready to bottle and/or eat immediately. If you bottle it later, be sure to stir well as the fruit tends to rise in the sugary mixture.

No need to refrigerate. Apparently it keeps for over a year if you leave it in a cool dry place – but it’s so yummy, I’m not sure it’ll be around that long!

The finished product

Afterword:

I’ll be making more of this, it’s awesome with poppadoms or as a side with a curry.

You could probably try this recipe to good effect with other citrus fruit, but the combination of the sour lemons and sugar really works well on the taste buds.

Ross is an expat thirtysomething Brit who went to the Shakey Isles in search of adventure. Works in technology, enjoys creating, has a love-hate relationship with his kitchen.

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, have a look at Ross’s other lemon glut-busting recipes for lemonadelemon liqueur, and lemon sorbet (which you might be needing, if you decide to experiment the hot pickle!).

Read more from the Country Skills blog >>

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