I’ve meant to make preserved lemons for several months – as long as Meyer lemons have been at the grocery store. But when their season was coming to an end, I knew I had to get busy. Preserved lemons are super easy to prepare, so much so that I feel like an idiot for not getting them done sooner. Here are a few photos of my endeavour:
There are numerous recipes for making preserved lemons, but they are all basically the same – lemons, salt, lemon juice. I decided to use this recipe from Epicurious for a couple of jars and I did one with no additional spices. You can use regular lemons, but Meyer lemons have a thinner skin and apparently most closely approximate the flavor of Moroccan lemons.
¼ c. Kosher salt
additional freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
5 or 6 coriander seeds
3 or 4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1. Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, sprinkle salt on the exposed flesh, then reshape the fruit.
2. Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of the mason jar. Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt, and the optional spices between layers. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them, add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Leave some air space before sealing the jar.
3. Let the lemons ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days. To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pulp, if desired — and there is no need to refrigerate after opening. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year.
Here’s a blog listing suggestions for using preserved lemons. I remember making a pound cake that used them as well and I’ll have to find that recipe to share.
In the future I’ll be trying a few new recipes. I hope you will too.
I’ve always wanted to make my own preserved lemons! As it is, I have a store-bought jar that I love to use in aiolis and pasta dishes. Yum indeed!
You must give them a try – they are so easy! I made some a few years ago and I’m not sure why I waited so long to do it again. Thanks for your suggestions!
Well, another year has gone by with me saying that maybe next year I’ll make preserved lemons. I must get to it!
You will be amazed how easy it is. You can do it with regular lemons, in fact some recipes suggest you replenish your supply with the same pickling liquid. If by chance I run out, I might try some regular lemons later in the year. Thanks for dropping by!
And then what is your favorite way to use them?
My very favorite is a pound cake recipe – one I’ll post in a month or so when these lemons are ready. They are also great diced and added to lamb and chicken dishes, and give an interesting hit to salad dressing. Anywhere you might use lemons are a possible target!
I think this is a recipe I’d like to try.
Thanks – you should. The first time I bought preserved lemons (for an outrageous price) I couldn’t find many recipes to use them. Now there are loads of suggestions available online. I wasn’t even sure which parts were edible at first!