Lemon season is coming to a close in these parts of the woods (hahha – I love saying that because I live in Silicon Valley). My husband went on a lemon picking bender one weekend, and I came home to over a dozen grocery bags filled with yellow yummy goodness. All picked. At the same exact time. Which, no matter how you slice it (hahaha AGAIN! Get it??? I know. I am freaking hilarious today) means there will be lots of moldy lemons.
And it drives me crazy, because moldy lemons don’t bother my husband. He almost likes it. I think he enjoys throwing them away, to tell you the truth. If he would keep with my schedule, this wouldn’t happen. But he sees a tree full of lemons, and he has to go and pick them all at the same time, knowing I couldn’t possibly deal with them all at once.
But then again, I didn’t pick two bags at a time like I said I would. So….
I lost a lot of lemons.
But losing a lot of lemons around these woods (teehee) still leaves you with, a heck of a lotta lemons.
Having kids, the best way to make use of lots of lemons, is lots of lemonade. In the canning world, this translates to canned lemonade concentrate.
Let me begin by sharing a recipe for the best pitcher of a basic lemonade. Having a giant lemon tree means this is an expert opinion here, people. EXPERT.
Make a simple syrup by bringing 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil over high heat. Stir the mixture constantly to prevent burning, and remove from heat as soon as the sugar has dissolved.
To your pitcher add 1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, your simple syrup and 4 cups of cold water. Stir and enjoy the taste of pure lemon joy.
Now, can that. Here’s how:
Canned Lemonade Concentrate
makes nine pint jars
7 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
7 cups sugar
7 cups water
- Sterilize your jars and lids.
- Add all ingredients to a non-reactive pot. Stirring often, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down.
- Remove from heat, stir. Skim off foam if desired. I destire not (I don’t really find it necessary).
- Pour the lemonade concentrate into your hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.
- Wipe the rims and seal the jar.
- Process in a boiling water bath for fifteen minutes (start counting once the water has reached a boil).
When you’re ready to enjoy your lemonade, add one pint of lemonade concentrate to your pitcher and two pints of cold water. Mix and enjoy.
A few extra notes: You can make any quantity you’d like, just be sure and maintain the 1:1:1 relationship between the lemon juice, water and sugar. Also, you might prefer your lemonade sweeter or less sweet, so experiment with how much water you add to the concentrate to make your perfect pitcher. Two pints water to one pint concentrate is my perfect mixture!