How to Make Preserves With Your Citrus
Can you ever have “too much” citrus?
Maybe someone thoughtfully subscribed you to a citrus club and this month you have more than you can eat. Or maybe it’s Texas citrus season and you’re tempted to pile up on those fragrant, delicious-looking and colorful fruits. Perhaps you decided to try your hand at growing your own fruit from a citrus rootstock.
Regardless, we don’t believe you can ever have too much citrus! Apart from the easy ways for storing citrus, the excess can be turned into tasty, homemade preserves that make personal, impressive gifts!
Almost every entry on the citrus food list can be made into a preserved treat! So, if the citrus club sent you more than you can eat this month and you find yourself swimming in citrus, here are just a few great ideas for what to do with the excess:
Make a marmalade. This old-fashioned treat is made by boiling down slices of oranges, lemons or other citrus fruits (including the rind) with sugar. Leave the peels out to make jam, and use only the juice to make jelly…regardless, all are excellent when spread on toast, English muffins or other breads, and can even be used as ingredients in special recipes such as citrus pear recipe to make a welcome and unique gift.
Curds…they’re not just for cheese! Curd is used in a similar way to jam, marmalade and jelly, but is made using a combination of citrus juice, butter, eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. The mixture is gently heated while being stirred constantly to form a delicious spread. Lemon and grapefruit curds make especially refreshing treats.
Pickle it. The literary buff in your life will be delighted by a gift of pickled limes (assuming she read Little Women as a child)! This tempting treat of the Civil War era (and the favorite of Amy March) was made by curing chunks of Key lime for several weeks. But don’t limit yourself to limes…lemons, oranges, grapefruit and other citrus are also excellent pickling prospects.
Candy it. If you’ve never had candied citrus or citrus candy, you’re missing out. Candied citrus slices or peels are beautiful garnishes on cakes, cookies and pies. They’re also delicious, and your home will smell amazing while you’re preparing them!
Can it. Canning is a great option for preserving citrus fruits. Some studies show that canned fruits are just as nutritious as fresh and frozen fruits, and keeping a few cans on hand is just the thing for when you want to put together a citrus fruit salad!
Some things to keep in mind when gifting citrus. When it comes to healthy fruit, you can’t beat citrus! Immune system aside, however, you should first make sure that your recipient doesn’t have a citrus allergy when you’re considering giving a gift of citrus preserves. Citrus allergy symptoms can include anything from mild “citrus rash” to a more serious swelling of the mouth and throat. If you’re wondering when can babies have citrus, the consensus is no younger than six months for the juice and no younger than year for the juice, but this is due more to the risk of digestive sensitivity than allergies. Allergies can develop at any age, and citrus allergy rash can be quite irritating, so be sure your gift will be welcome. You can always go with gifts made from non-citrus fruits such as pineapples, apples and pomegranates.