Let’s gloss quickly over the fact that it’s been over 3 months since I last updated this blog :I know, I have neglected you but you know it’s not you, it’s me – I had other stuff to do…in other places. I kept meaning to call or write but there never seemed to be time and I kept on getting sidetracked. Just be happy I am here now and typing, because I have alot of typing to do.
When I last wrote to you I may not have mentioned that I was about to be swamped in a surplus of produce. Namely, lemons. Lots and lots and lots of lemons:
A shedload of lemons
I can’t really complain about the surplus since I actively exacerbated the situation by pruning the unkempt tree, treating its leaf miner problem, mulching it with kelp and fertilising to to within an inch of its life.
Yes my lemon tree was on the receiving end of my tender
loving gardening care and, as if to show how much it appreciated the attention, it flourish and gave forth lemons…lots and lots and lots of lemons.
Apart from giving them away (which I did in spades, buckets and any plastic bag I had hanging around), I had to think of inventive ways to use them…
Recreating Nana’s Lemon Cordial
The first thing I did was to try to reverse engineer my grandmothers lemon cordial recipe using all the wine bottles I have been collecting and reserving for just such an occasion.
I say reverse engineer, but I wasn’t able to find an actual recipe written down anywhere either in my family papers or from any relatives, so really all I have to go on is the fact that Nana seemed to make two types of lemon cordial:
- Super sweet (so sweet that even as a child with a super sweet tooth I had to drink this with soda water)
- Sour (needed to be mixed with lemonade to be palatable to my childhood palate)
Two types of lemon cordial, which she made in great quantities…without ever labelling the sweet or the sour. So basically, having a lemon cordial at Nana’s house could be a little like russian roulette unless there were stocks of both soda water and lemonade to hand.
So I went on a hunt for recipes and narrowed it down to the following Lemon Cordial Recipe from Delicieux:
- Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons, keep the lemon halves after juicing
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of tartaric acid
- 2 cups of caster sugar ( 1 cup if you want the sour lemon cordial)
- 500ml boiling water
I don’t have a citrus juicer, so had to improvise to get the juice out of the lemons:
Yes that is a shot glass
1) Strain the lemon juice and place in a large bowl along with the zest, lemon halves and sugar. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar.
2) Place in the refrigerator and chill overnight. I ended up with a bit of a production line going on…in my fridge:
If anyone else looks in the fridge, they are going to think I have a problem
3) The next day remove the lemon halves and then stir in the tartaric acid.
4) Pour into a sterilised bottle…and post artfully for the camera:
Call me superficial but f it looks this good, you know it's going to taste great
If you are worried (as I was) about sterilising bottles, no need to stress there are heaps of methods and people have put idiot-proofed guides on the internet. I found one looking for lemon curd recipes – this is the one I followed and no one has died yet. So we’re all good 😀
I made the sour lemon cordial, so I used half the sugar of the original recipe. I made three times the amount and found it made two small 500mL bottles plus 3/4 of a 750mL bottle – still trying to get the logistics of amount to bottles right.
I can recommend the tart version as follows:
- with honey and warm water to help ease a cold
- on its own with water, for a tart and refreshing adult version of cordial
- with a slurp of gin then topped up with lemonade
Hello Nana's lemon, gin and lemonade summer drink - my new fave
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