Some of you that have been to my website before may know that I dehydrate foods and preserve food to put in our pantry. To me lemons do not dehydrate well and there other ways to preserve lemons so I am posting how I preserve lemons. We have had good results preserving lemons the way I will describe.
One morning my husband and I realized this was the last lemon in the last jar of preserved lemons and we both sighed and knew we better get some more packed up right away because we really enjoy these lemons diced up over our food.
When you get as old as I am one thing you will most likely have is a good assortment of reference books and cookbooks. Most of the preserved lemon recipes include things such as bay leaves, peppercorns etc. I like plain simple food and these ingredients are not necessary to preserve lemons. What preserves the lemons is salt.
This is a very simple thing to do. Just wash your lemons, you will need two lemons for one pint jar and 4 to 5 lemons for juice.
I have seen preserved lemons done several ways, either quartered and salted in the middle and put back or wedges. We find the wedges do very good.
Slice off the top and the bottom the lemons and then slice the lemons so that you end up with 8 pieces. You will use two lemons per jar = 16 slices. To do so, cut the lemon in half (you will have 2), cut those halves in half (you will have 4) and cut each of the 4 in half (total of 8 pieces)
Pour 1/3 cup of course kosher salt into the bottom of the pint jar that you have sterilized. To do this you boil the jars in water for 10 minutes and keep hot until use.
Then pack the 8 pieces in the jar on top of the salt.
Juice 4 to 5 lemons
Pour the juice over the lemons until filled.
Put a lid on tightly and turn it upside down a few times.
The salt will settle back down. Each day, remove the jars from the refrigerator and turn them over and back a few times and put it back in the refrigerator. The salt will eventually dissolve.
The lemons need time to preserve so they will not be bitter. About a month.... and it is worth the wait.
Once the lemons are ready, after about a month, remove a lemon wedge. The pulp/flesh will be soft and a bit mushy.
Peel back the pulp from the peel. The peel is what is preserved and we use on our foods.
Peel it all the way off. Discard the pulp or called the flesh. If you are making a dish that calls for salt and lemon you could use a bit of this but it is very salty and has seeds. This pulp is too salty to eat. My husband is always trying to sneak a piece of pulp because he likes salty things.
Pulp on the right will be discarded and the peel will be rinsed.
Rinse the peel to remove the salt.
Slice small slices of the peel.
You can slice the small pieces in half too to make it bits of lemon. You can use these preserved lemon peels over most anything. They are especially good over salads. We have put them in rice or over our plate of food. My husband even likes them over eggs.
You can make up just one jar or as many as you wish. We normally do about three due to the cost of lemons. Just remember before the last jar make some more or you will run out as we did.
One of my preserving books says to keep preserved lemons in a dark cupboard for a few weeks shaking the jar every day and can be used after two weeks. Then it says to refrigerate. I guess to mean refrigerate after opening. We just put ours straight into the refrigerator and keep the jars there.
After about 4 weeks the pulp is nice and soft and the rind is just right for serving.
Always use a knife safely, I hope you enjoy this post. Grandma Donna