Citron is the mysterious member of the family as not many people know about it.

Dare to reveal the mystery to find a genuine flavor. One of the citrus fruits relatively unknown. It looks like a lemon with a rough skin and a thick rind.

Citron grows on a small thorny tree whose flowers are purple and white. The citron resembles a lemon, and grows to a length of six to nine inches. The edible part of the fruit is small and surrounded with a thick white inner rind.

It grows in warm, Mediterranean climates and it is in Mediterranean countries and the West Indies where it is where it is mainly cultivated. It is difficult to find in other countries, although its popularity is growing and more and more grocers are stocking this fruit. It is most commonly available around the holiday season. It is generally sold in a small dice, often part of a premixed candied fruit mix intended for use in fruit cake.

How to use and store citron

Citron is grown mainly for its peel, which is candied. The peel is first treated with brine -to remove the bitter oil, to bring out the flavor, and to prevent spoilage- then it is candied in sugar and glucose.

Cooking with citron

Substitute with citron where you would use lemon to get a much sharper flavor. Citron's thick, fragrant peel has many uses for cakes, puddings and in confectionery.

Citron substitution - if a recipe calls for citron and you don't have it, substitute citron with lemon or lime in the same proportion.

Try this citron tart as dessert or serve it as snack with a cup of tea.

Citron Tart

Ingredients for the filling
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 citron, finely grated (lemon can be used instead)
5 Tbs. lemon juice
6 Tbs. unsalted butter

Ingredients for the pastry
1 cup flour
6 Tbs. sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, chilled
ice water

Ingredients fot the Garnish (optional)
fresh fruit such as raspberries or strawberries
sliced almonds
whipped cream


Using a double boiler, combine the eggs, the egg yolks, and sugar. Stir until mixed. Add Citron zest and juice and continue cooking until a thick mixture is formed. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter. Allow mix to rest in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using.

Combine the first 5 pastry ingredients in a food processor. Gradually add the ice water, 1 Tbs. at a time. Pulse until just combined. Wrap in some plastic, refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Use an 8-inch. tart ring or pan. Roll out dough to line pan. Cover the dough with parchment paper, cover with pie weights or beans. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and weights or beans. Allow to cool on a rack.

Assembling the tart; pour filling into pastry crust. Set in 350°F oven for 2 minutes to allow filling to set. Garnish. Can be served immediately or chilled.

This is the oldest of the citrus fruits. In fact, it is said to have grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, then it was used to make perfumed toilet water. Today, citron still plays a role in the Jewish festival of Succoth.

citrus medica citron citrus

French cédrat
Italian cedro
Spanish cidra.