From baking to cleaning: 4 ways to squeeze the most out of lemons

When life gives you lemons, there's so much more you can do than just make lemonade. Try these ideas

15 August 2019 - 00:00
Lemon loaf cake; simple but delicious.
Lemon loaf cake; simple but delicious.
Image: 123RF/David Kadlec

1. BAKE AN EASY LEMON LOAF CAKE

Makes: 1 medium loaf cake

Cake:

125g softened butter

180ml (¾ cup) caster sugar

2 eggs

180g (375ml) cake flour

10ml (2 tsp) baking powder

150ml (⅔ cup) Greek yoghurt

Finely grated rind of 1 large lemon

Syrup:

125ml (½ cup) lemon juice

60ml (4 tbsp) caster sugar

Finely grated rind of 1 small lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place all the ingredients for the cake in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat just until you have a smooth batter. Don’t over beat.
  3. Line the base of a medium loaf pan and spray the sides with cooking spray.
  4. Pour the cake batter into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  5. For the syrup, combine the ingredients in a bowl and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Pour the syrup over the loaf as it comes out of the oven and allow to cool in the pan before turning out on to a cooling rack.

2. WHIP UP DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS

  • Make up a cleaning abrasive — good for scouring dishes, pots, pans and surfaces, baths and showers — with lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Use a lemon half dipped in salt to clean and shine brass and copper. It’s good for copper-based pots, too.
  • Freshen up a dishwasher by wedging half a lemon on to an upright inside it.

3. MAKE LEMON JUICE ICE CUBES

  • Freeze freshly-squeezed lemon juice in ice-cube trays and use in sauces, soups, stews and dressings. If you’re fresh out of vinegar, replace the vinegar in a recipe with lemon juice.
  • You can also jazz up a glass of sparkling or still water with a lemon ice cube and a sprig of mint.
Lemon marmalade.
Lemon marmalade.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

4. MAKE SOME LEMON MARMALADE

Makes: 2 x 400g jars

Ingredients:

4 large lemons

Water to cover

1kg sugar

Method:

  1. Place the lemons in a large heavy-based saucepan. Cover with water, weigh them down with a smaller pot lid and boil for 2 hours, until tender.
  2. Drain the remaining water, retaining 1 litre (4 cups).
  3. Cut the lemons very finely; remove and retain the pips.
  4. Save the pips and place in a small square of muslin or cotton fabric. Pull the corners together and tie with string to secure the bag.
  5. Return the lemon slices to the pan with the retained cooking water and muslin bag filled with pips. Add the sugar. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  6. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring from time to time, until setting point is reached. This will take 20-30 minutes.
  7. Pour into sterilised jars immediately and seal while warm.

Cook's tips:

  • To test the setting point, place 2 saucers in the freezer. Place a spoonful of marmalade on a cold saucer and leave it for a minute. Push your finger through the centre of the marmalade and if it leaves a path, the marmalade is ready. If not, continue boiling and re-test.
  • To sterilise jars, place in oven of 100°C and leave for 30 minutes. Place lids in a small pan covered with water and bring to the boil.

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