april 3, 2009

I’m not sure if it’s lemon season (or if lemons really have a season). In any case, our mom’s meyer lemon tree was quite fruitful, so we snipped off a few dozen and decided to make preserved lemons. Jars are from Ikea and one of them turned out not to be air-tight, so we had to layer some saran wrap to ensure a tight seal. Next time we’ll invest in some screw-lid mason jars.

Since we had two jars and more lemons than we could use, we preserved them two ways – one with just salt and the other with a more Moroccan flair. We haven’t yet tried them, since they take a few weeks to cure, so I can’t really vouch for how great this recipe is. Regardless, making these preserved lemons was a nice way to spend a Friday afternoon together.

Preserved Meyer Lemons
10-12 meyer lemons
2 cups salt (roughly)

Optional Spices:
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
4 coriander seeds
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Sterilize jars by either running them through a dishwasher or immersing them in boiling water for 10 minutes (we did the latter). Wash the exterior of lemons and remove any leaves and stems. Make quarter slices into the top of the lemons, keeping them attached at the bottom. Sprinkle salt on all exposed parts of the lemon and reshape the fruit.

Press the lemons into the jars, adding more salt as necessary. The spices can also be added between the layers. Pack the jar as full as possible (feel free to press and squeeze the lemons). With any remaining lemons that don’t fit, squeeze the juice into the jar.

Close the jars tightly then swirl upside-down to be sure that nothing leaks and the seal is tight. If there is a leak, see the note above about saran wrap. Let the lemons sit in a warm place. Shake the jars around every few days. It should take a few weeks for the lemons to cure.

We plan on having lots of fun with the lemons once they’re ready. We’ll throw them into salads and make a tofu tangine. Any other suggestions?

responses to preserved meyer lemons

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