When I was younger, I always thought of lemons as a summer fruit. Maybe it’s lemonade to blame, since it’s typically pegged as a summer beverage. But lemons are indeed a winter fruit, and I like to stock up when produce is in season. Each winter I make gobs of dehydrated lemons for the year, since I use them in my water every day. I was running low, and was hoping for a good price. I ended up with a 44 pound box for $10. With 44 pounds, I could surely get my year’s supply of dehydrated lemons, and extra for experimenting.
There are a variety of ways to use lemons – – in lemon bars, lemon salad dressing, as dehydrated lemons, preserved lemons and frozen lemons. But the most fun way to use extra lemons is to make lemonade. To make things even more exciting, I canned lemonade concentrate for my family’s camping trips this summer. As my daughters cut and juiced all the lemons, we dreamed about sipping the lemonade outside the camper, gazing at the lake we just hypothetically floated around in for hours.
You can dilute this concentrate to your taste, but I would say 3 1/2 pints of water for each pint of concentrate would be to most people’s liking. Taste as you add water, and find the perfect ratio for your family. Because this recipe takes 15 minutes to water bath can, you don’t need to sterilize your jars, just obviously use clean jars, and as always, new lids.
Lemonade Concentrate for Canning
Yields 7 Pints
6 cups of fresh squeezed lemon juice
6 cups of water
6 cups of sugar
Bring all ingredients to a gentle boil.
As soon as the mixture reaches a boiling point, fill 7 pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims clean. Secure with rings and lids, and water bath can for 15 minutes. To reconstitute, add about 3 to 3 1/2 pints per pint of concentrate.