8 Easy + Delicious Ways to Preserve Fresh Citrus

Preserve the goodness of fresh citrus with pickled lemons, limoncello, orange curd and marmalade.

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Citrus

Oranges, lemons and limes are proven mood enhancers. They add a bright finish to your dishes and are loaded with vitamin C. Citrus is in season for the Northern hemisphere during the winter. Take advantage of the vast selection and inexpensive prices by preserving them.

Lemons

Lemons are available year round in most places, but Meyer lemons are a seasonal treat. They have a sweeter and more floral taste than other lemons with a slightly orange tint. If you see these in the grocery store, grab a bag. They are typically only available once a year.

Oranges

Oranges are juicier and taste better when they are in season. During the winter months stock up and eat an orange a day!

Grapefruit

Grapefruit gets a bad reputation; it is the sour cousin of the sweeter orange. This flavorful, versatile fruit tastes great in savory dishes. Try some grapefruit juice in your next vinaigrette. 

Dwarf Kaffir Lime

Dark green, bumpy-skinned Kaffir limes are very fragrant. The fruits, leaves, juice and zest are often used in fried fish cakes, curries, spicy stews and other Thai dishes.

Marmalade

Marmalades are a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits. Any type of citrus will make a lovely marmalade. The peels of citrus is where the flavor is the strongest. Marmalades pack an intense citrus flavor that pairs well with soft cheeses and breads.

Limoncello

Limoncello is a classic Italian liqueur. It's made with lemon zest or peels (without the pith) and steeped in rectified spirit until the oil is released. The lemony liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Sip it as a cordial or mix it with iced tea, club soda or spirits.

Pickled/Salted

Salted or pickled lemons are a staple in Moroccan and Indian cuisine. Lemons are scrubbed, quartered and packed in salt, then left to ferment for a couple of weeks. Salted lemons can be used in any dish that requires lemon, but minus additional salt. Pickled lemons add plenty of salt to a recipe.

Extract

Add a little burst of sunshine to your baked goods. Making citrus extract is easier than you think. Steep some citrus peels in vodka and let it marinate for a few weeks. It's tastier and cheaper than the store bought stuff. 

Dried

Slice down an orange and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Sprinkle the slices with some sugar and bake in a 200 degree F oven for 2 ½ hours. Use the dried orange slices in garlands, wreaths, decorations, potpourri and bird feeders.

Curd

Fruit curds are a delicious dessert spread made with various types of citrus. It's a type of custard made with eggs and sugar. Lemon is the most popular flavor for curds, but orange and lime are equally delicious. They are great when served on top of scones or muffins.

Candied

Candied citrus peels are a delight in baked goods. They are made by boiling the peels of citrus in a sugar syrup multiple times until the peels become jelly-like. Once dried, they will last for months.

Freeze Your Citrus

All sorts of citrus can be frozen if you know how to do it correctly.

Year-Round Citrus Flavor

When fresh citrus is in season, stock up. They are easy to preserve and you will be happy to have a stockpile of citrus flavors in your pantry.