Happy Monday! Do you remember I posted a picture recently of all those lemons I bought at the market? Well, I finally got round to doing something with them! I used a recipe from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook for Lemon Squash, which is especially perfect since we have been having some really lovely sunny warm weather here lately.
Since we had a stick of lemongrass in the freezer I thought I would add this for a fragrant twist (you can never buy a single stalk of lemongrass so I always end up freezing the rest of a pack when we cook Thai curries). I was inspired by Belvoir's delicious lime and lemongrass cordial, which you can buy in the supermarket here in the UK. We drank a lot of this Belvoir cordial on our honeymoon in Dorset a couple of years ago, especially as a cocktail with sparkling water, ice and gin! The taste always reminds me of sunny, lazy summer afternoons in the garden with a drink, a book and a blanket, and it is this that I wanted to recreate.
- 7-10 lemons (I think I used the full 10)
- 650g granulated sugar
- 1 stick of lemongrass (or whatever extra flavouring you would like - I think root ginger would work really well here as well)
As explained above, you pare the zest of four of your lemons and set it aside. I used a vegetable peeler because I don't have a special citrus parer, which would create fine shreds (you might have see the type of thing, a small tool with a row of little holes at the end).
You put the lemons in a pot of boiling water for one minute, which flavours the water and makes the lemons yield more juice. I also put my lemongrass stalk in the water with the lemons too. Take the lemons out and squeeze them once they are cool enough to handle. You need to keep going until you get 500ml of lemon juice, which in my case meant adding another lemon's worth of juice, but it will all depend on the size of your lemons.
Put the lemon zest and sugar in a pan with 500ml of the water you boiled the lemons in, and bring this to the boil. When it is just boiling, take it off the heat for a minute and add the lemon juice. Put it back on the heat and bring it back up just to the boil. Then you just have to strain it through a sieve and pour it into sterilised bottles while the bottles are still hot (here are Delia Smith's instructions on how to sterilise bottles and jars - along with a recipe for strawberry jam!).
PS. Another new font I downloaded for this post! I really like this handwriting font, appropriately named Sunshine in My Soul, which I downloaded from Dafont.