This past month I have had more friends giving me lemons. Maybe this was a good year for citrus? So I asked a few chef friends for some different recipes because Lemonade is getting a little overdone in our home. Below is my favorite way to use the sour fruit! Preserved lemons take time and patience but the end result is SO worth it.
Preserved lemons are a common ingredient in Moroccan and African Cuisine. By completing the process the entire lemon becomes edible. I love using them chopped on chicken, topped on cupcakes, or even in soup. It is a great addition to your pantry and also makes a beautiful gift!
How to Make Preserved Lemons
(recipe courtesy of simply recipes)
* 8-10 Meyer lemons*, scrubbed very clean
* 1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed
* Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
* Sterilized quart canning jar
* You don't need to use Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do, it's just that the milder Meyer lemons work very well for preserving in this way.
1 Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.
2 One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.
3 Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.
4 Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.
5 Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.
6 To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired.
7 Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.
You can add spices to the lemons for preserving - cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf.