How many times have you come across a recipe that says add The Juice of One Lemon? Ok, no problem except for the fact that lemons come in different sizes. Now what?
Yes, I know most of the lemons at the grocery store all look alike. They may look alike on the outside but once you cut into a lemon you may find some have a big thick rind, or some have a super-thin rind. Either way, that impacts how much juice is inside.
Also if you buy produce at farmer’s markets you can find different varieties of lemons that range from small, medium, and large.
How much juice is in one lemon?
By food standards, there are approximately 2 tablespoons in one medium-sized lemon that weighs approximately 3.5 ounces, so basically if a recipe calls for the juice of one lemon that is what you should add. And, mostly this is the size of lemons sold in stores.
So if a recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of lemon juice you most likely will need two lemons to get the right amount of juice for your recipe.
These lemons below actually came from my two lemon trees. I have two varieties and each is remarkedly different in size.
My older tree produces little lemons with a very thin rind. I am always amazed when I cut these open on how much lemon is inside.
My new tree produces great big lemons and the rind on them is very thick and the actual amount of lemon inside seems very small.
Here is the difference between the two different lemons. The smaller lemon had 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of juice the other lemon had 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. So next time you need the juice of one lemon you may need two lemons to make sure you have enough juice to make the standard 2 tablespoon measurement.
How to juice a lemon
How you juice a lemon can make a difference in the amount of juice you get
- Keep your lemons at room temperature
- Before you juice a lemon, press, and roll the lemon between your hands or on a countertop this will soften the lemon and helps releases the juice.
- Try microwaving a lemon for 10 seconds before juicing for maximum juice.
- A citrus reamer or a juice press are the easiest tools to use to get the most juice out of a lemon. Just squeeze over a bowl and strain to remove the seeds.
- Hand squeezing the lemon is a quick way to juice a lemon without any tools, just squeeze hard on the cut lemon to get the juice out, then with your fingers, press the inside of the lemon to release more juice
- Another handy tool is the citrus reamer with a bowl. Here you can juice your lemons directly into a bowl that also strains out the pulp and seeds. This is very handy.
Lemon Juice Chart
Lots of recipes also use the lemon zest. If the recipe calls for the zest of one lemon, that would mean using one medium-sized 3.5-ounce lemon will yield approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.
My suggestion is when you need to juice a lemon, zest it first. Even if I don’t need lemon zest right then you can freeze the zest and use it later.
Why add lemon zest to a recipe?
- Citrus zest has lots of essential oils that add strong citrus flavors.
- Adding zest to a recipe really infuses a bright lemon flavor to baked goods, both sweet and savory, salad dressings, creamy desserts, icings, and ice creams.
- Sprinkle lemon zest over finished desserts or even veggies adds a pretty yellow color plus flavor.
Essential tools for juicing and zesting lemons
Delicious One Hot Oven lemon recipes
Lemon Ricotta Muffins are made with olive oil for a deliciously tender crumb
Lemon Bundt Cake has baked in lemon pieces that adds some tanginess to this cake
Lemon Baked Ricotta is one of the easiest appetizers that is full of fresh lemon flavors
Lemon Cookies with Frosting has lemon in the cooking and the frosting too
Crispy Lemon Cookies are simple slice and bake shortbread cookies
Lemon Pie with Lemon Cake, yes this is a cake and pie in one dessert
Remember – When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Dessert
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory recipes with all my baking friends.
Have any questions or just want to chat about the recipe? Contact me here, and I’ll be happy to help!