So we go to all this trouble to buy a beautiful etrog, which represents the heart of the Jewish people, and then after just one week, Sukkot is over...

What to do?

For anyone who has seen the movie Ushpizin we know that there is always the option of using its juice to make a great salad, but believe it or not, it has some other great uses as well.

Here are some tried and tested successful uses for your precious etrog...enjoy!

Etrog Schnapps

Ingredients:

  • Up to 3 Etrogs (citrus)
  • 3 cups Vodka
  • 1.5 cups superfine sugar

Rinse the Etrogs well, and peel the thick yellow skin. Place the peels in a 4-cup container, and add 2 cups of vodka. Store for a minimum of 48 hours in a cool, dark place. Remove the peels from the vodka. Add all the sugar and stir until the liquid is clear. Add the remaining cup of vodka and stir until the mixture is clear. Seal the top and keep it in a cool place for about 6 weeks. 

The schnapps will have a distinctive citrus aroma, and a delicate and sweet flavor. A wonderful addition to any occasion.

Etrog Slices Cooked in Syrup

  • 4 large Etrogs (citrus)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Rinse the Etrogs and soak them in cold water for at least 3 hours. Cut them into thick slices (about 1/3 inch or 1 cm) and remove the seeds. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a large pan and bring to a boil. Press the Etrog slices firmly into the syrup. Cover with a lid and let it simmer lightly for 1 – 1 ½ hours, or until they are very soft. Remove the slices and arrange on a serving dish. Continue simmering the syrup, uncovered, until it has thickened. Pour the remaining syrup over the slices.

This is an enchanting - but easy - dessert that can be served with a tad of cinnamon, chopped nuts and some cream to top it off!

Etrog Jam

  • 1 Etrog (citrus)
  • 1 Orange
  • Sugar
  • Water

Rinse the Etrog and orange. Cut them lengthwise and slice them very thinly. Remove the seeds. Soak the fruit overnight. Change the water (and make sure the fruit is fully covered). Place it in a pot and bring it to a boil. For a second time, change the water and bring to a boil again. Pour out the water, and weigh the fruit. Match with an equal amount of sugar. Cook over a low flame for about 45 minutes, or until it takes on a jam-like appearance.

Etrog jam has a strong and distinct flavor that will carry the spirit of Sukkot long into the year. Many people have the custom of saving this jam for the holiday of Tu B'shvat.

Create an Etrog Spice-Box

Puncture holes in your Etrog and fill them with dried cloves. Once the Etrog has dried and hardened, all the cloves will remain in place, releasing a wondrous aroma of citrus and spice.

It can be used as a creative version of a Havdalah Spice-Box.

Editor's Note: This past Hebrew calendar year, 5768, was a Shemitah (Sabbatical) year. Fruit grown in Israel during this year retain a special holiness and there are certain restrictions on their consumption (click here for more on this topic). Most etrogim are imported from Israel, and as such are subject to Shemitah rules. If you have an Israeli etrog, consult with your rabbi who will advise you whether and how it can be eaten, and how you may dispose of it.