Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cookbook challenge, week 1: Lemon Cordial

The theme for the first week of the challenge was citrus. Lemon was an obvious choice for me - I'm moving house and my old place has a lovely lemon tree in the backyard that I wanted to take advantage of. Homemade lemon cordial is wonderfully refreshing and additive-free, and a good way to use up excess fruit.

This recipe comes from a special cookbook - that of my father's! It's not an official cookbook, but I'm hoping I can get away with it this week as my 'real' books are buried deep in moving boxes. I did try another recipe from a Marie Clair cookbook, a prawn and lemon risotto, which I'll post once I find the book.

My dad has compiled a bunch of fantastic recipes over the years. He's especially known for his jams, sauces and relishes, as well as a spectacular abalone lasagne. If I catch any abalone this summer, I'll post it!

Reg's Lemon Cordial
Makes approx. 3 litres

Juice and finely grated rind of 8 medium–large lemons (approx 400mls of lemon juice/rind)
2kgs sugar
25g tartaric acid
50g citric acid
2L boiling water

Put all dry ingredients and lemon juice into a saucepan, then add boiling water slowly.
Bring to a gentle boil, mix to dissolve, then cool.
Bottle, and store in the fridge.
Serve diluted with water or soda-water according to taste.

I quite like it with soda water and a dash of vodka - very refreshing on a hot evening!

For other posts on this week's theme, see this post. I really want to try Gluten Shmooten's preserved lemon recipe to put a dent in the remaining couple of kilos of lemons I bought with me to my new house. I'd also like to make some lemon curd, and I'm sure I have a recipe in one of my cookbooks (actually, probably several!) somewhere.

Week 2's theme: Indian. Time to find and unpack the recipe books!


  1. Eek! *trying not to look at the 2 kilos of sugar* Hehe! :) I hope you had a good juicer too!

    Recipes passed down from generations are the best! That's great that your dad has actually compiled some!

    Good on you for plucking the lemon tree dry before you moved! I would have totally done the same!

  2. Thanks for the comment! Yeah the amount of sugar is rather scary, but it makes 3L of cordial, and you only use about 1cm worth in the bottom of the glass before adding water, so I figure it's not so bad! :)

    Just a hand juicer, but it didn't take so long. A tip is to microwave the lemons for 10s before juicing - it's much easier to get juice out then.