Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Preserved Lemons

Ages ago - like last year - I made some preserved lemons. And I have made some more since my lemony friend gave me another big bag and I have used all the previous year's supplies up. She also gave me eggs from her free range hens. They are so free range she has to hunt for them! So I think some lemon curd will be coming up real soon.

Preserved Lemons from the Cuisine magazine (Sept. 2001 28 pg. 56)

6-8 lemons
1/2 cup coarse sea salt (I used rock salt)
1 litre preserving jar, thoroughly washed in boiling water

Wash and dry the lemons. If you use store bought lemons you will have to really scrub them to remove the wax coating (and any pesticide that might remain). Cut a thin slice from the top and bottom of each lemon.

Cut through each lemon vertically leaving about 1 cm at the base i.e. don't cut right through. Turn upside down and rotate. Make another vertical cut top to bottom, again leaving 1 cm at the base. You will have 4 quarters that are all still attached.

Gently open up the cuts in the lemons and fill with as much salt as possible (about 1 T per cut). Hold one cut end together while you fill the other to prevent salt spilling out. I hold it over the jar because I can never prevent it entirely.

Carefully squeeze the lemons into the clean jar, compressing them as you go so some juice comes out, but try and retain their shape as much as possible.

Fill the jar halfway with extra lemon juice if necessary. I find I have to squeeze extra to make up the difference; must be my lemons or something. I add some peppercorns and a bay leaf too. You can also add cinnamon sticks, cloves, dried chillies, toasted coriander seeds, or toasted cumin seeds. Wipe the top of the jar clean with a cloth dipped in boiling water, then seal.

Store in a cool place (not the fridge) for 1 month before using. The lemons release more juice while pickling. Turn the jar a few times during the month.

Before using, rinse and dry the lemons. Remove and discard the flesh, then use the peel as required.

Search here for recipes using preserved lemons.

I also made candied lemon peel with the rinds of the lemons I used to squeeze the extra juice from. I tell you - that stuff is moreish.


  1. I need to do this. I have been to lots of cooking classes where preserved lemons are used (lots of Moroccan dishes)and I keep thinking I must do some.

    And lemon curd - yum, my favourite ut off limits for me at present! Maybe I'll make some for Christmas Neenish tarts.

  2. you are so good at all these sorts of things Penny. Gosh love home made preserves.

  3. kunwvI've never tried them but they sure look yummy! And they look so great too! Clever cookie!

  4. I have never heard of preserved lemonds before. They look really pretty ini the jar though.

    Lemon curd sounds yummy!

  5. Anonymous1:44 pm

    Sounds like an awesome idea Penny, might have to be something that I can do with the extra lemons we have around here. Thinking of giving gift baskets out to certain people at Christmas...I would be keen on your lemon curd recipie as well when you make it.

  6. Sorry that last one was me.

  7. Penny, you are so good at homemade things like that! They look really yummy.

    Have you thought about joining the Made From Scratch carnival? This would be a perfect entry!

  8. I miss lemon trees :-( we had them in our Auckland houses... but they don't grow very well down here! I'm looking forward to some hens & a garden, fruit trees & berry stalks eventually at our new house :-)

    love how you put the instructions in your blog - TFS!

  9. oh I can taste the lemons just reading your blog!