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Lemon Sugar

Lemon sugar is one of those essential, must-have pantry items for any baker.  Having a jar of it at your fingertips enables you to enhance a number of desserts, from cakes & muffins to cookies & pies.  I love substituting some or all of the granulated sugar in my sugar cookies with this delicious ingredient if I'm making them for a lemon aficionado.  The Blueberry Cookies with Lemon Icing I enjoy eating would benefit from such a substitution.  A few tablespoons sprinkled into some juicy berries for a summer pie always adds a layer of flavor that is unexpectedly good.  I encourage you to change that blueberry muffin recipe you do so love by using some lemon sugar in it; you may never make them plain again!  If you like making pancakes from scratch for your family on the weekends, use this sugar in the batter and serve the lemon pancakes with some fresh fruit and perhaps some local honey for pouring.  It is also good sprinkled over crepes.

Lemon sugar is so easy to make that you're going to want to whip up a batch as soon as you're done reading this.  Grab a lemon (I love using Meyer lemons), some sugar, a fine citrus zester & your food processor.  

The Ingredients
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 well washed lemon (about 2 tablespoons), preferably organic
Yield: 1 cup lemon sugar.
Note: Recipe can be doubled.

In the bowl of a mini-food processor, add the sugar and finely grated zest.   If you feel like making 2 cups of this citrus sugar, make sure the food processor is large enough.

Pulse the sugar several times until the zest begins to be absorbed into the sugar.  I prefer to pulse rather than letting the machine run, because I don't want the sugar getting too fine.  You'll notice it turn the consistency of wet sand.  The whole process shouldn't take more than 15 seconds.

Place the sugar on a platter, cookie sheet or plate and spread it out in a thin layer.  Since it's quite wet at this point, you want to let it dry out for about 1 hour.  However, if you want to proceed with a recipe, the sugar is ready to go!

Once dry, place the Lemon Sugar in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  I love using an antique Ball jar from the early 1900s. 

My only advice to you is that you make this sugar in small batches (I never make more than 2 cups worth) and replenish the jar as needed.  The essential oils in the zest of any citrus will degrade over time and lose its potency; a jar like the one above will still be lemony for about 2 weeks if stored in a cool, dry pantry.  Make some this week and use it to flavor whatever you desire.  Lemon sugar a Good Thing?  I think so.


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