Q. I have a recipe that calls for two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I don’t really like the flavour of the bottled lemon juice you can buy in stores, but I don’t typically keep lemons on hand. I know that I won’t use the rest of the lemon until the next time I bake, and it seems a shame to throw away a perfectly good lemon. I’m wondering if there’s a way to preserve the excess juice for later use without losing out on flavour. Can you freeze lemon juice?
A. Yes, you can freeze lemon juice. It’s not recommended to freeze bottled lemon juice as it becomes bitter, but it is perfectly fine to freeze freshly squeezed lemon juice. The key to great tasting lemon juice is to freeze it while it is as fresh as possible. That means ideally within an hour or two of juicing. As long as it is protected from freezer burn, the flavour of the juice should withstand freezing quite well.
How to freeze lemon juice?
If you plan on only using small amounts of lemon juice at a time, consider freezing it in ice cube trays. Each regular sized cube holds about 2tbsp. of lemon juice, so it’s easy portion control. Wash out an ice cube tray and dry it completely. Fill each cube until juice before full to allow for expansion. Place the ice cube tray in the freezer for a few hours until the cubes are completely frozen.
Once frozen, remove the ice cube tray from the freezer and pop out the lemon juice cubes. Place the lemon juice cubes into a freezer bag. Squeeze out the excess air, then seal and label the bags. Lemon juice can keep in the fridge for several months before beginning to lose flavour.
To use, simply remove the desired number of cubes from the freezer and place in a cup or bowl to thaw in the fridge. Cubes could also be defrosted in the microwave. Then, add the juice to your favourite recipe.
Lemon juice can also be frozen in larger batches, simply by pouring the lemon juice into a freezer safe container or freezer bag, removing the excess air, and then sealing the container. Place in the freezer. To thaw, remove the container from the freezer and thaw in the fridge.
For best results, use within a day or two of thawing, and don’t refreeze previously frozen lemon juice.