Preserved lemons are a great thing to have around the house because they last a while and taste great in almost everything. The process takes about 30 days but the lemons are very easy to produce. Once preserved, you can julienne or brunoise the rind, which is the only part of the lemon you will use, and add it to a sauce to get a nice salty, lemon flavor. In some cases, I have used the preserved lemon in place of salt. I have no defined recipe because every time I find one it is either short on salt or too high, and there are a lot of variables that affect how much of everything that you need. I think it is best to remember the technique or process.
The first method is a salt pack that will take 1 month at room temperature.
The second method is a salt and sugar mix that will go into the freezer. I have not tried this method before and I have read that they will be done anywhere from a month to three months, so I am going to try both.
Preserved Lemons (Salt Packed)
6ea Bay Leaves
2T Black Peppercorns
- Cut off both ends of the lemon and scrub with the rough side of a new sponge.
- Cut the lemons in half lengthwise
- Sprinkle a thin layer of salt in the bottom of your jars. I used quart sized jars for preserving them.
- Place one lemon, flesh side down in the jar, add more salt to cover 3/4 of the half lemon.
- Add two more halves standing up on their sides on top of the salt, try not to let the lemons touch, and with a spoon hold the lemons apart in the jar and pour in more salt. Add bay leaves and peppercorns every layer, and keep stacking until you can only fit one half of a lemon in the neck of the jar.
- The salt at the top should come up to the bottom of the neck.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon half into the jar and fit the lemon into the neck with the flesh facing down.
- Apply as much pressure as you can on that lemon, then top off with salt.
- Store in your pantry for 30 days.
After a couple of days you can see that some of the salt compacted. Remove the lid and add more to the top of the jar to ensure that the lemons are completely covered.
To use, rinse off the whole lemon and spoon out the flesh and discard; the rind is what you want to save. If using in a salad or in a manner where it is not being cooked, make sure to blanch it in water for a couple of seconds to remove the extra salt from inside the rind. If adding it to a sauce, season with the rind first then check to see if you need salt later.
1/2C Kosher Salt
1/2C White Sugar
1t Chopped Garlic
4ea Lemons (scrubbed)
12ea Thyme Stems
3ea Oregano Stems
- Combine salt, sugar, and garlic.
- Leaving the ends on the lemons, cut two slits from top to bottom all the way through the lemon, so you can squeeze the lemon and open the slits without the lemon being separated.
- Pack the inside of the lemons with the salt mix, then bundle the thyme stems and one oregano stem together and shove it through the slit.
- Place the lemons in a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible.
- At this point they have gone into the freezer and I will await the 30 days to be up followed by the 90 days for the second test.
Pictures of finished products will be here in 30 days!
Preserved Lemons (Salt Packed)
The thirty days are up on the salt cured lemons and they turned out great! The next step is to use a spoon and scoop out the fruit from the middle. This is done very easily and you should be able to pull it out once started. Discard the pulp/fruit and place the rind in cold water to cover; change the water every thirty minutes for a total of 3 water changes. This process will help remove some of the salt, after the third soak, pat the lemon peel dry and use as you please.
3 days left!