Monday, January 14, 2013

citrus season

One of my favorite things about living in Arizona is winter citrus fruit. When the rest of the country seems to be buried in snow, we have sunny, summery citrus to harvest. We inherited quite a few mature (read: humongous) citrus trees when we moved into our house. They are: navel, Arizona sweet, tangelo, lemon, and pink grapefruit and we love them all. Well, except for the pink grapefruit. We don't like that one very much.

A note: free pink grapefruit! Come and get it! (Please!)

Our large lemon tree is probably my favorite. It has weathered storms and lost branches, but it always comes back, laden with fruit. I sent Mabel and Oliver out to pick it clean the other night. It's time to start juicing. I freeze the juice in ice cube trays so that we can have fresh lemon juice all year long. This year I am going to try freezing some grated rind, too. We love lemonade (2 trays worth of frozen lemon juice + 1 gallon of water + 2 cups sugar, give or take), lemon bars, buttermilk cake, and lemon pound cake. For Sunday dinner yesterday, I made this lemon cake and it was delicious! Plus, there is nothing better than freshly squeezed lemon juice and piles of powdered sugar on German pancakes. For non-dessert meals, I love this lemon chicken with brown rice. Today I am going to give this lemon blueberry loaf a try.

Do you have any favorite lemon recipes to share?


  1. All sounds so good. Also, wish I lived close to take advantage of your grapefruit. Yum!

  2. this is my favorite go to lemon chicken recipe. It's really good to take the lemony-juice from the pan and make a gravy/sauce with it to pour over the cooked chicken!! YUM!

  3. Grampy is picking lemons this morning so that I can freeze lemon juice. It really comes in handy when there aren't any lemons. I just won't buy them as they are 69 cents each in the store. glad you do that too.


    These are really yummy!

  5. Yes, we had to get our oranges off the tree because it's so cold. I made lemon squars from a recipe on Martha's Food magazine. I'm going to have to try your cake recipe as well. I juice two quart jars of orange juice this morning but I have a long way to go. That's a great variety of trees you have. My mother in law reminded me it so timely to get vitamin C during the flu and cold season.

  6. we dont like grapefruit either. blech. i am going to try your freezing idea, its brilliant! and i think we need to get together with the kids- maybe next week?

  7. yes, beth, let's get together! i think we need a mid-winter freeze pick me up, and a play date sounds like just the thing.

  8. Brent's favorite is lemon meringue pie... I've probably made hundreds of those pies since we've been married. We have a really nice lemon tree in the back, and a meyer lemon in a large pot in the front. I really like our lemon trees, because they are the only citrus the squirrels here won't eat! In an emergency, they'd be a terrific source of vitamin C.
    And of course,the blossoms. One of life's little pleasures are the blossoms of a citrus tree.

  9. Stephanie, can I ask what kind of juicer you use?

  10. Here's one recipe you might try with your grapefruit that could make you change your mind about it... It is one of my winter faves!

  11. Yes! Yes! Here's my grandmother's low-cal (haha!) blueberry muffin recipe. The star of the show here is lemon zest! So fab. Total comfort food.
    2 eggs
    1/2 c melted butter
    1c sugar
    8oz plain yogurt
    2c flour
    1tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp (or more!) lemon zest
    1c blueberries
    Mix eggs, melted butter & sugar. Stir in yogurt. Stir (or sift in -- if your feeling fancy!) the dry ingredients. Them fold in berries & zest. Bake 375 for 25 min. Also works well with cranberries & orange zest.

  12. We have lemons too! Can't wait to try out some of those recipes! And I'd love to steal some grapefruit! I'll text you next time I'm close by :)

  13. I'll come get all the grapefruit, but I guess it's a little far to travel since I'm in TN.

  14. Those lemons look delicious...especially since we are buried in snow now. The best I can hope for here in Eastern Canada is maple syrup next month...although we do have excellent potatoes here in the summer and apples in the fall. Freezing the lemon juice is such a good favorite part of all that citrus would be the blossoms on the trees...I bet the air there smells wonderful when the trees are in bloom.

  15. I loved the citrus trees when we lived in Cali years back! There are all kinds of wonderful treats you can make with lemons, like all the ones you mentioned. I also use them for cleaning. A friend who owns a green cleaning service taught me how to use a half a lemon. It works pretty well when I'm in a pinch.

  16. Yes! My grandmother used to make this dessert and I love it.

  17. We would LOVE some grapefruit. All we have is one little orange tree, and it had a great year! We got lemons from Jamie. But we don't have a grapefruit connection, and we love it!

  18. This is one of my favorite recipes from my Grandma Pitchforth.

    Lemon Dessert
    3 eggs beaten
    1/2 cup sugar
    juice and rind of 2 lemons

    Cook these ingredients in a double boiler after the water has boiled first. It will thicken in 3 minutes. Mix with 1/2 pint whipped whipping cream. Spread over crushed vanilla wafers. Refrigerate for a few hours before devouring!


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