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Curds, Candies, Marmalades and More - Delicious Ways to Preserve Citrus


Citrus is in season from late fall into early winter, and that's when the fruits are at their juiciest and least expensive. Here are some delicious ways to preserve lemons, oranges and other citrus fruits while they are at their peak. Many of these recipes make terrific Christmas and holiday gifts, which is convenient since that is when they are in season!

1. Candied Grapefruit Peel

Pink Grapefruit Half
Lew Robertson/Photodisc/Getty Images

Candied grapefruit peels were a special treat when I was a kid...and they still are. They take a while to make, but most of that is inactive time. Once candied, grapefruit peels will keep for months.

2. Lemon Curd Recipe

Leda Meredith

Here is a silky smooth, sweet and tangy treat that makes a terrific gift, especially around the winter holidays when citrus is in season. It is fantastic as a filling between cake layers, as well as spooned over fresh fruit.

3. Kumquat Marmalade Recipe

Leda Meredith

This marmalade recipe perfectly preserves the bright color and flavor of kumquats. The addition of an orange to the kumquat fruits adds depth to the citrus flavor. There is no need to add commercial pectin to this recipe. The natural pectin present in the citrus peels, combined with the sugar and the acidity of the citrus juices, ensures a good gel.

4. Grapefruit Marmalade Recipe

Less commonly available in stores than orange marmalade, grapefruit marmalade mades a great homemade food gift. It is excellent on toast, but also shines when added to meat glazes and marinades.

5. Moroccan-style Preserved Lemons

Leda Meredith

Preserved lemons are a classic ingredient in tagines and other Moroccan-style dishes. They are also delicious simply slivered and added to grain or pasta salads.

6. Orange Marmalade

Homemade orange marmalade is wonderfully sweet-yet-bitter. It fills your kitchen with an addictive aroma and fills jars with jewel-like orange peel jelly.

7. Homemade Citrus Pectin for Jellies and Jams

Pectin is a naturally occurring substance in fruit that makes sweet preserves gel. However, some fruits are low in pectin and need added pectin in order to gel. You can buy commercial pectin, or you can make your own from citrus peels.

8. Spicy Lemon Chutney

This spicy lemon chutney preserves the bright flavor of winter lemons for use all year long. Spoon it on roast meats (it is especially tasty with leftover cold chicken) or serve with a mild cheese on crisp toast or crackers for an easy appetizer.

9. Drying Grated Orange and Lemon Zest

Grated lemon or orange peel is often called for in recipes. The peel, or rind, gives an incredible citrus flavor that can't be found in artificial flavorings.

10. Kumquat Marmalade with Bourbon

  Many thanks to the reader who took my basic recipe forkumquat marmalade and turned it into something extra special with the addition of a splash of bourbon. The booze goes perfectly with the citrus, making this a holiday-worthy gift...

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