Canning Lemons

How to can lemons. So easy and makes for a darling gift! @natashaskitchen

My husband’s family lives in California and they sent us loads of lemons; fresh from their lemon tree. What to do with so many lemons?… Can them and give them to your friends and neighbors!

Canning lemons is a simple, thoughtful and inexpensive gift idea. Not, to mention, canned lemons are awesome with tea. We’ve been enjoying them for a couple of weeks. And what Russian/Ukrainian person doesn’t like tea? Each pint-sized can holds 2 to 2 1/2 lemons. They will stay wonderful at least a month in the fridge.

This isn’t a typical canning recipe, where you can set them on the shelf for months, so don’t try it. Keep those canned lemons refrigerated.

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Ingredients for Canned/Preserved Lemons:

8 lemons (for 3 pint size jars)
2-3 cups sugar
3 pint size glass jars

Canning Lemons-3

How to Make Canned/Preserved Lemons:

1.Start by washing your jars with soap and water, then fill each jar 1/3 with boiling hot water and swirl it around, then drain and repeat. Or, you can boil the cans in a large pot for 5 minutes (if you’re a real germaphobe) or run them through your dish washer. Do the same with the lids.

Canning Lemons-4

2. Wash your lemons thoroughly using a sponge or dish brush, then slice them into rings or half circles.

Canning Lemons-6

3. Place sliced lemons  into jar  (about 1/2 lemon at a time). Cover lemon slices with at least 3 Tbsp sugar.

Canning Lemons-7

4. Repeat layers of lemon and sugar till you get to the top, pressing  down the lemons as you go.

Canning Lemons-8

5. Go on, add more sugar until you get to the top. Cover with the lid and refrigerate. You can also put a nice piece of fabric over the flat lid and screw the top over it for a nicer presentation. The sugar will turn into a syrup as it stands in the fridge. There you have it!

Canning Lemons-5

Canning Lemons

4.63 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
How to can lemons. So easy and makes for a darling gift! @natashaskitchen
My husband's family lives in California and they sent us loads of lemons; fresh from their lemon tree. What to do with so many lemons?... Can them and give them to your friends and neighbors! It's a simple, thoughtful and inexpensive gift idea. Not, to mention, canned lemons are awesome with tea. We've been enjoying them for a couple of weeks. And what Russian/Ukrainian person doesn't like tea? Each pint-sized can holds 2 to 2 1/2 lemons. They will stay wonderful at least a month in the fridge. This isn't a typical canning recipe, where you can set them on the shelf for months, so don't try it. Keep those canned lemons refrigerated.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Servings: 3 pint size jars

Ingredients

  • 8 lemons for 3 pint size jars
  • 2-3 cups sugar
  • 3 pint size glass jars

Instructions

  1. Start by washing your jars with soap and water, then fill each jar 1/3 with boiling hot water and swirl it around, then drain and repeat. Or, you can boil the cans in a large pot for 5 minutes (if you're a real germaphobe) or run them through your dish washer. Do the same with the lids.
  2. Wash your lemons thoroughly using a sponge or dish brush, then slice them into rings or half circles.
  3. Place sliced lemons  into jar  (about 1/2 lemon at a time). Cover lemon slices with at least 3 Tbsp sugar.
  4. Repeat layers of lemon and sugar till you get to the top, pressing  down the lemons as you go.
  5. Go on, add more sugar until you get to the top. Cover with the lid and refrigerate. You can also put a nice piece of fabric over the flat lid and screw the top over it for a nicer presentation. The sugar will turn into a syrup as it stands in the fridge. There you have it!

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag bannerHow to can lemons. So easy and makes for a darling gift! @natashaskitchen
♥ FAVORITE THINGS ♥

Shown in this post: (nope, no one paid us to write this; just stuff we love):
*This lovely (and incredibly useful) Wusthof Classic Ikon Knife *My 2-cup liquid measuring cup gets the most use Anchor Hocking Measuring Cup *Wide-mouth jars are the easiest to fill and use Ball Mason Jars*We’ve had our Philips electric kettle for about 8 years, still going strong. It’s not available anymore, so hopefully it will never break ;).

Thank you for stopping by my blog, reading, commenting, and sharing my recipes with your friends and family. It’s the best feeling to see one of my recipes on your Instagram or Facebook feeds, or when you pin my recipes. Seriously, thank you!
-Natasha

natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Diane L. Burnham
    November 29, 2017

    Hi well I’m insulin resistance so putting all that sugar in the lemon wouldn’t be a very good idea for me..Although I love your idea for other folks. What I did was cut all the lemons up put them into a pan and simmer them for about 15 minutes… I had my jars all ready and then I divided up the liquid and lemons put them into five jars, put the lids on and sealed them tight. What I will use this for in the future is to heat up a jar and put honey in for tea or sore throat aid.. … Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 29, 2017

      That sounds like a great idea!! Thank you for sharing that with us 🙂 Reply

  • Tracy
    October 25, 2017

    Do you think it would taste as nice if I use oranges instead of lemons? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 26, 2017

      Hi Tracy, I haven’t tried persevering oranges this way only because I’m not sure how I would use them. I put lemons in tea and if you can find some usefulness for canning oranges, I think it would be worth an experiment since it’s pretty easy to make. Let me know if you try that! 🙂 Reply

  • Lillian Carter
    June 9, 2017

    Can this be done with Splenda? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 9, 2017

      Hi Lillian, I really don’t have any experience with splenda so I’m not sure if it would preserve the lemons the same way or if they would spoil faster. Maybe someone else has some insight into this? Thanks in advance! 🙂 Reply

      • sue vanhyfte
        August 6, 2017

        Splenda does not pull fluid like sugar so no! Reply

  • Jessica
    May 10, 2017

    Wonder how fresh peppermint would pair…. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 10, 2017

      Oooh I’ve never tried it!! Reply

      • Stephanie Bouder
        June 2, 2017

        Maybe some ginger, too. 🙂 Reply

  • sherry
    April 9, 2017

    sounds so good Reply

  • Sally
    July 3, 2016

    Could you boil the bottles to vacuum seal for a longer shelf life? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 3, 2016

      Hi Sally, I haven’t tried it that way and this recipe is really intended to be a refrigerated recipe. Without testing it that way, I can’t really say if it would work to store them at room temp if boiled and vacuum sealed. The recipes I’ve seen that keep at room temp use loads of salt but I just haven’t tried it that way. Reply

  • Hannah
    February 28, 2016

    Hi, could I neglect the sugar part? If so, could it still be kept in fridge for a month? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 29, 2016

      The sugar preserves the lemons and it won’t last very long without it. With sugar, if it completely covered withs sugar, it can last for a month. Reply

      • eleanor
        June 4, 2016

        can I do this with other fruits? Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          June 5, 2016

          It depends on what kind of fruit and what you are planning to use it for. Reply

  • linda
    January 21, 2015

    what else can you do with these Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 21, 2015

      You can add them to hot or cold drinks – punch bowls or tea or just to add a touch of fanciness to your water glass :). It’s a nice way of preserving lemons if you have a bunch of them since they don’t sit around too long on the counter. These will stay preserved in the fridge for weeks. 🙂 Reply

  • olga
    December 20, 2014

    where did you get the jars with the pretty checkered lids?

    thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2014

      I recycled a jam jar 🙂 Reply

  • December 13, 2014

    What a lovely gift idea! I remember my mom preserving lemons like that when I was little. Back in the 80s Russia if you stumble on lemons in winter months one would have to buy a few kilos because it was a rare occasion! We always had a large jar stored in the fridge for tea or even just pop a slice of sugared lemon in your mouth-the real lemon drops! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 13, 2014

      Don’t you just love when some food take you back down the memory lane into your childhood :D. Reply

  • Cristina
    August 13, 2014

    Great recipe! I have also experimented with this recipe and added raw honey instead of sugar; it turned out pretty good with tea. Also, this helps if you have the sniffles, the vitamin C from the lemon and the honey is a good natural antibiotic. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 13, 2014

      Thank you for the tip Christina, lemon and honey is a great combination :). Reply

  • Inessa
    February 14, 2014

    What I do is I wash and dry them then cut the in quarters and get the seeds out. Then I put them tgrough a meat grinder on the smallest one. And then mix it with sugar to taste . Let it stand at room temp for about an hour till all the sugar melts . It turns into sort of like a jam 🙂 I freeze it in cans and it stays good for the whole winter. As soo. As im out just put it in the fridge over night and you got yourself fresh lemob jam. It tastes so good in tea.:) and gosh you should see how beautiful it is! I wish to have a picture to show you! Give this a try 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 14, 2014

      That’s brilliant and it sounds so easy!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Reply

  • Samantha Hardin
    September 22, 2013

    How long is it safe to keep lemons this way? Is it possible to pressure can them verses storing them in the fridge for a longer shelf life? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 22, 2013

      You know I haven’t tried that so I’m not sure. I bet you could if you pack it in. The acidity and sugar is definitely ample to preserve them as long as they are completely covered with sugar/liquid. Reply

      • Carol W.
        May 6, 2017

        I have also done this with honey. And I have added sliced ginger as well for cold season. Reply

  • lemonlover
    August 13, 2013

    What else can I use these lemons for besides tea? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 13, 2013

      Hmmm,… good question. Lets see, there’s iced tea or hot tea 🙂 You can add them into any cold or hot drink really. They make the drink prettier. Reply

  • Oksana B.
    January 18, 2013

    Hi Natasha! I am interested in getting some pint-sized jars and noticed that there are two different choices. There is regular mouth lids and wide mouth lids. Which one did you get? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 18, 2013

      I bought wide mouth lids. Reply

  • Lidiya
    August 11, 2012

    Natasha. Can I use these directions to make peach varenie? We just have so many peaches and I have no idea what to do with them. You have anything on your mind? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 12, 2012

      I would suggest cooking peach varenye. I don’t think this recipe would work for peaches Reply

  • Katie
    July 1, 2012

    Did this the other week, almost done! Guests loved this for tea as well! Cute idea for gift baskets for sure! Thanks Natasha! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 1, 2012

      I’ll be handing them out this coming Christmas. So easy and fun to make! I’ll have to figure out how to spruce them up and turn them into lovely gifts 🙂 Reply

  • Malti
    May 19, 2012

    U also can sterilize glass containers by microwaving them in microwave for 1.30 minute. just a hint. I find it easier, instead of boiling. The lids have to be boiled though. 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 19, 2012

      That’s a great tip! How much water do you fill them with before microwaving? Reply

  • Anna
    January 7, 2012

    I loved this idea! Made them for Christmas gift baskets and everyone loved them! thanks again Reply

  • Mila
    December 20, 2011

    You can also freeze lemons. I cut them the way I like, put them in ziploc bags and in the freezer.
    My 3 year old daughter likes to add 1 to 2 cubes of ice to her tea, but now instead of ice I add lemon.
    There are many health benefits of lemons. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 20, 2011

      That’s a great idea; freezing them and using them instead of ice cubes. I still have a bunch of lemons left. Thanks Mila! Reply

  • anna
    December 16, 2011

    this is a great gift idea for christmas! thanks natasha Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 16, 2011

      You’re welcome Anna, too bad I won’t get the caramel apples up in time. Those would be a good gift idea too. Reply

  • Zhanna
    December 15, 2011

    Hi would you be able to post cake “spartak” recipe? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 15, 2011

      Yes, just not sure when. My mom has a wonderful recipe 🙂 Reply

  • Lina
    December 15, 2011

    Where did you buy those cool cans?:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 15, 2011

      Walmart! 🙂 I think they were less than $1 per can.  Reply

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