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Post-Sukkot Uses for the Etrog

Post-Sukkot Uses for the Etrog

A Collection of Recipes and Ideas from our Readers


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


  • 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.

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Anonymous October 10, 2017

Please don't eat etrogs used for sukkot - they are laced with many pesticides since they are meant to look good and not to be eaten. They are classified as botanicals and not food, which means the pesticides used can be much more dangerous than those used for foods. Washing is not an effective means of getting rid of the pesticides. If you absolutely must eat etrog, find a food-grade one not meant for sukkot. Reply

Yvonne Cheyney Upland, CA December 8, 2016

I use about a cup of water to make the jam. Reply

Ana Miami December 7, 2016

Etrog Jam recipe How much water do I need to use to make etrog jam? I don't have a food weight to know how much water to use.

You prompt response is greatly appreciated. Reply

Yvonne Cheyney Upland, CA October 30, 2016

Etrogim tree I live in Southern California near the San Gabriel Mountains. My Rabbi gave me an etrog after Sukkot about 8 years ago. I scooped out the seeds and then chopped everything else. Put everything in the ground with fertilizer. Water regularly. 4 years later had flowers and now have a very healthy crop. Tree is 14 feet high with at least 30 etrogs this year. This year they started growing with pitams. Have made etrog marmalade (chop up the fruit in the food processor after removing the seeds), etrog cookies, etrog cake and etrog salt. All very popular. Will try the liqueur soon and have a recipe for pickles. My Rabbi has used my etrogs for Havdallah services. The bees love the tree and I have at least 50 flowers. A new crop of etrogs is already growing. Comments would be good to see. Yvonne Cheyney Reply

Anonymous Uk November 1, 2015

Jam recipe The jam recipe doesn't work at all. For a start the skins need to be separated and the juice extracted. One big mush! Reply

Bob of the deep Wading River NY January 12, 2015

Etrogcella Take two Etrogim and wash and peel them. The pith (white stuff) is not bitter so peel down to the pulp. Slice the peels to fit into the neck of a clear growler. Put them in, and add two quarts of Everclear 151. Let steep for three weeks. Liquor should be bright yellow and clear and quite fragrant!

After steeping is over, take another half gallon of water and add another quart (half volume) of sugar. Cook until dissolved and immediately remove and cool to room temp. Mix in the infused everclear. Pour back into two growlers (you know have a gallon) and store in your freezer. I bottle them into 6 oz flasks and give out to my friends, use for L'Chayim on Shabbat, etc. People will rave about it. Have fun. Net alcohol content will be about 30-35% or about 60-70 proof. GREAT in espresso!!! Great drizzled on honeydew or cantalope! Reply

Menachem Roetter Oak Park, Michigan October 19, 2014

Another idea:
Carve the year into it while fresh (big block letters) then it hardens, with the year u used it visible. Our family collects them and u can see when they r from. Good memories Reply

Anonymous Brooklyn January 19, 2014

Esrog jam Is it normal for the etrog to float Reply

Anonymous September 26, 2013

recipe for etrog jelly good ideas Reply

Joel B Amsterdam November 18, 2012

Cutting tip I found that it is very recommended to make sure when you cut the etrog/orange to make the slices as thin as possible! You could also consider to cut them even smaller in little chops. Reply

Joel Amsterdam November 15, 2012

Etrog jam Hi, I followed the exact recipe for the jam, but for some reason have the feeling I'm doing something wrong. The fruit slices just won't get soft. I boil it now already for more than an hour on a low flame, but nothing has changed. The peels seen the same, and the rest looks like water. This doesn't look like jam at all! Maybe I have to be patient and it it will get softer. Does anyone have a picture of what it should look like? Reply

Hope J. Miami, FL October 17, 2011

etrog recipes My niece is looking for a chutney recipe, using etrog. I hope someone can help. Thank you very much. Reply

Avigayil Fletcher Dianella, Australia September 21, 2011

Etrog cake I make etrog and orange jam, and then make a basic cake - mixing a few tablespoons of the jam into a cake for Shabbos - the flavour goes throughout and it tastes delicious. This way your etrog is used respectfully and for a holy purpose, and lasts for quite a while. For decadence - use 3/4 cup of etrog jam in a basic cake recipe and you will have a very rich etrog cake that is divine!
In Australia a basic etrog is usually $100 plus so etrog recipes are really luxurious. If I was in Israel I think I'd be using them much more often!! Reply

isaac stern brooklyn, ny January 20, 2011

ESROG RECIPE Easy and simple
(5 simple steps)

1 Large Esrog (etrog/citrus)
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 Cups water
1 Tbsp Hadar's lemon Juice

1) Rinse the Esrog and peel it.
2) Cut it into thick slices (about 1/3 inch or 1 cm) and remove the seeds.
3) Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a 4 qt pot and bring to a boil.
4) Add the esrog slices and cover with a lid and let it simmer lightly on medium to low flame for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the slices become very soft.
5) 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 a very simple and easy recipe to make, and it"s DELICIOUS. Reply

chana April 26, 2009

i think the etrog is called a CITRON not a citrus.citron is the name of the fruit Reply

Rossana B Plantation, FL October 28, 2008

etrog besamin i started covering the etrog with cloves but it began to decompose and became brownish. is that normal? Reply

Rita Chemers Orange, Ca via October 16, 2008

etrog I will look for the citrus now, and thanks for introducing me to the marvelouls aroma.

Tzirl G October 13, 2006

post sukkot etrog use One more idea;
Let the etrog dry and place in large dish as centerpiece on coffe table/dining table.
Tip: Collect as many etrogs as possible for the centerpiece. Reply

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