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Picking Bush Lemons with Bear

Before moving to Australia, I’d never heard of bush lemons, but now I’m a big fan.

They are a marvelous lemon that grows wild in sub-tropical Australia, and our friend Oma has a huge tree. She gave us a couple of cuttings last year that are growing well but not bearing fruit yet, so we were delighted when she invited us over to pick our fill from her bumper crop.

I love these beauties with their knobbly skins and wonky shapes. They smell absolutely divine and after picking them, so do your hands.

The branches have some rather lethal thorns on them that grow 1-2 inches long, so you have to be careful when picking or you’ll suddenly find yourself ensnared by your hair (me) or snagged by your britches (Bear).

My sundress came in handy for gathering bush lemons as I carefully crept between prickly branches to grasp the big ones that like to hide in difficult-to-reach spots.

Bear dove straight into the heart of the tree, finding a treasure trove of fat lemons in the shady recesses.

Bush lemons have a very thick skin that ranges in color from light yellow to rich orange. While not as juicy as their thin-skinned counterparts, they still have juicy pulp and the oh-so-fragrant skins impart a wonderful zest for flavoring baked goods or cups of tea.

It didn’t take long to start filling our buckets, and we only suffered minor wounds on our hands and arms. It was truly pleasant work as cooling breezes came in over the mountains, birds twittered all around us, and Oma’s and Opa’s dogs came trotting over regularly to say hello.

Soon we had two red buckets filled to overflowing and we hugged Oma tightly for sharing her bounty.

I’m excited to make Whole Lemon Marmalade this weekend and perhaps a Lemon Cream Tart or Danish citronfromage, a delectably light and zesty lemon mousse.

What is your favorite thing to make with lemons? xo

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MyCustardPie - Lemon curd or Sussex pond pudding. Adore lemons in every form – really would love to harvest some one day.

Rosa - Beautiful lemons. And look at that gorgeous rind!!!



Krista - Now I must make lemon curd, @disqus_o9c9vkchcC:disqus ! πŸ™‚ Will look up a recipe post haste. πŸ™‚

Krista - I hope to share it soon, Joumana. πŸ™‚ It’s one of my Spring favorites. πŸ™‚

Krista - I bet they would be excellent for essential oil, @rachelfriesen:disqus , though I have no idea how to retrieve it. I should look that up. πŸ™‚ I really like how you add lemon to your savory sauces. That sounds heavenly. πŸ™‚

Krista - It would be brilliant over warm muffins, @karenbackroadjournal:disqus πŸ™‚ Now I have to get baking!!

Krista - Oh, I love lemon with my roast chicken too, Karin. πŸ™‚ I must try the la limone pasta. It sounds amazing. πŸ™‚

Krista - You made me laugh, @disqus_v9uRgGTGfe:disqus I should’ve explained that “whole lemon” refers to the cooking process, not the final product. It DOES get chopped up before bottling. πŸ™‚

Krista - It turned out beautifully, @liz_posmyk:disqus Not too runny, not too firm, and packed with bush lemon flavor. πŸ™‚

Krista - Mmm, I love that brew too, @disqus_WseMqaTPwi:disqus I’ll definitely have to make some soon. It will be so delicious for our oh-so-hot Christmas. πŸ™‚

Krista - It really is, paradis. I love learning about these new fruits and veg, and I’m excited to try finger limes next, then lillypilly’s. πŸ™‚

Krista - You are so lovely, @disqus_2LQ5qLN5aY:disqus πŸ™‚ How special to give yourself lemon meringue pie for your birthday. XO

Krista - We ended up going back and picking two more buckets for us and two buckets for Oma, @GourmetGetaway:disqus And there are STILL more on the tree. πŸ™‚

Krista - I just posted it today, @budgetjan:disqus πŸ™‚

Anna Johnston - Just gorgeous! I was admiring your lemon marmalade on FB over the weekend. πŸ™‚
I love lemons, especially bush lemons. Their bubbly skin and the intense zesty smell. Mmmm.
My fave thing to make… Lemon curd. Soooooooo good!

Taste of Beirut - Those lemons look so juicy and delicious! I would love to taste that zesty lemon mousse you mentioned.

Rachel Friesen - Those bush lemons made my day – so much character! Given the thickness of their skins, I wonder if they’d be good for distilling your own essential lemon oil. My favourite thing to do with lemons is squeeze them fresh into savoury creamy sauces, especially Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Leek Stroganoff or my mother-in-law’s Cream Tuna. It really brightens a rich dish up.

Karen (Back Road Journal) - Look at those buckets of lemons…your marmalade sounds like it would be delicous spread over a warm muffin with tea.

Karin@yumandmore - I put lemon in just about everything. I particularly like rubbing my chicken skin with it before spicing and roasting and my favorite pasta is a la limone. I am not a sour puss but I could eat lemons everyday. They are always in my kitchen and their zest or juice is often added to my cooking. Have never seen these but they look like they smell divine! lucky you’s!

Maureen Shaw - I’m eager to see what whole lemon marmalade looks like. I can’t get my head around how you spread it on toast. πŸ™‚ I use lemons in lots of ways. Lemon curd is always nice. πŸ™‚

Liz Posmyk - How wonderful! Let me know how the marmalade goes!

mlleparadis - i can’t help but love a fruit with a little bit of personality! isn’t it great to get away from N. America and experience a little fruity diversity. happy marmalade making – i bet it will be good!


Jackie Smith - Oh I so love lemons and don’t need to do anything with them to be happy. I love them on trees (or in this case, bushes). I’ve made lemoncello with ‘store bought’ lemons and hope one day to mix up a batch of my ‘brew’ using real just-picked lemons. A lovely post ~ as always! Hugs, J.

bellini - I love lemons both savoury and sweet Krista. It is my absolute favourite from avolgomeno soup, to lemony tabboulleh. When I was a child my mom would ask me every year what kind of cake I would like on my birthday and I would always say Lemon Meringue Pie. Of course with my birthday being in July in the heat of the summer I never received any meringue topped desserts, weepy meringue or otherwise. But as an adult I always have a slice.

budgetjan - I would like to see the recipe. I saw whole fruit jam in Turkey but have never made it myself.

Gourmet Getaways - What an abundance of fruits! You seem to have collected a lot while there are still more up the tree! Love picking fruits, too, especially the fragrant ones πŸ™‚

Gourmet Getaways

Krista - I sure do, @budgetjan:disqus πŸ™‚ My friend Oma makes whole orange marmalade so I thought surely I could do it with lemons, and you can!! πŸ™‚ You just have to retrieve the pips before you bottle it. πŸ™‚

budgetjan - By Whole Lemon Marmalade, do you mean you keep the lemon whole? I am intrigued.

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