Is Citrus Peel Edible?
It is indeed. Although lemon isn’t one of the dirty dozen, it is still a good idea to wash any peel or skins you are planning to eat, especially those, like lemon, that it may be more unusual to eat.
Is Lemon Peel good for me?
We could all do with more fibre in our diets and lemon peel will contribute a whole gram from just 1 tablespoon.
Studies have determined that lemon peel is full of bioactive compounds that may provide numerous health benefits, including
- supporting oral health
- a high source of anti-oxidants
- antimicrobial and antifungal properties
- giving a boost to your immune system
- may promote heart health
- may have anti-cancer properties (please don’t rely on this, lemon peel attributes and benefits need to be researched)
- it may even help eliminate gall-stones
- tips sourced from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/
What is Lemon Peel Jam
This preserve is made primarily using lemon carcasses that have already been used for something else. They’ve been zested and juiced and would ordinarily just be thrown away. If you don’t have any of those, it will work just as well using whole lemons, or a mix of the two.
I used some lemon carcasses that had been used in cooking, a couple of pieces that had been used to flavour jugs of water, and a single half of a whole lemon. I’d used the other half, and this half had got a bit dried up.
The carcasses are simmered in water until soft, then blitzed and simmered with sugar
How To Make Lemon Peel Jam
If you don’t use lemons very often, keep the used ones in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Once you have 2 or 3, simmer them whole in a little water until tender. I put water in about halfway up the fruit. They will take about 30 minutes to cook through.
Once cooked through, I like to boil them fast with the lid off until there is just a little water left, so I don’t throw anything away.
Once cooled, remove the pips. Now blitz them with a stick blender, liquidiser or food processor until there are no lumps. Or if you’d like a few pieces left whole, remove one half and chop into pieces or little shreds, then add back into the puree.
Weigh the puree and add the same amount of sugar. Blip on a low heat for about 10 minutes and pot into a couple of sterile jars. Three lemons made a jar and 3/4.
So What’s It Like?
Being made entirely from lemons, it sets like a dream. The flavour has a slightly bitter edge, like a good marmalade. My husband really likes it.
- It’s wonderful on buttered toast or anything like that
- Would be great as a Victoria sponge cake filling
- Use in thumb print cookies
- In a baked sponge
- Mix with cream cheese for a different flavour, or spread the cream cheese on toast and top with the preserve
This works just as well using orange peels, and just like this, reduces waste, making the most of what we buy.
More uses for lemons
- 3 whole lemon carcasses that have previously been zested and juiced
- 200 g sugar roughly
- 250 ml water
- Place the lemons in a thick based saucepan, along with the water.
- Put the lid on and simmer gently until the lemon peels are cooked through. This will take about 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and boil fast until there is just a very small amount of water left.
- Leave until cool and remove the pips.
- If you would like some bits in your jam, remove one half now. Cut that half into small lumps or shreds
- Puree the remaining lemon halves into a smooth pulp using a food processor, stick blender or liquidiser, adding the shreds, if any, back in now.
- Now weigh the puree and add the same amount by weight of sugar.
- Put back on the heat and blip gently for about 10 minutes. Be careful, it's a thick mixture and may splash.
- You can test the set by putting a teaspoon of jam on a cold saucer and putting it in the fridge for a couple of minutes. If it’s ready, it will have formed a skin in that time and when you push it gently with a finger you’ll see that skin.
- If you have a thermometer able to measure high enough, it should set when it reaches 104c/220f. Just keep simmering until it’s ready. Although being all lemons, there is masses of pectin and it will set solid.
- While the jam is simmering, sort your jam jars out. If you haven’t already, wash them, and pop them in a low oven to sterilise them. Some people use jars fresh from the dishwasher. Whatever you do, they need to be very clean, and dry.Any water in the jars allows a sugar syrup to develop, and over time, that may well grow mould, spoiling your lovely jam. And they need to be scrupulously clean so your jam will keep well, there must be no germs, bacteria or mould spores at all in the jars.And don’t forget the lids. If you are not using lids, cover the jars with cellophane circles and elastic bands. Or use circles cut from cereal box inners and perhaps a pretty ribbon. A little gingham fabric looks fabulous. Anything that will keep the jam clean and dry will do the job.
- Once the jam is ready to set, there may be scum on the top. Either skim it off, or stir in a generous knob of butter, this gets rid of any scum floating on the surface. Stir well. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes, stirring now and again
- Put your jars on a heatproof surface and carefully ladle in the jam. Be careful, splashes will burn you badly at this temperature. A jam funnel is helpful for this
- I usually put a very clean tea towel over the filled jars until they are just warm and only then put the lid on. The tea towel is to keep any mould spores in the air, off the surface of the jam.Others have recommended putting the lids on straight away and turning the jars upside down
- I used 3.5 lemons and it made almost 2 jam jars full.