I love citrus. Yet, I was still hesitant to try preserving lemons.
Would the salty sour ruin my citrus? That fresh lemon scent so perfect for summery drinks and puckery desserts was, making it tough to imagine the final flavour.
I didn’t care. It’s citrus season, so when I saw the huge bag of glowing lemony goodness, I knew I’d be overwhelmed by tea and desserts, so giving this time honoured tradition wouldn’t be too tough to try.
Long before the rush of the Holidays set in I chopped and salted — and waited. Only hearing of the magic of preserved lemons, I had to wait until, and perhaps a little early, just this week. The flavour was of mellowed lemons, with a hint of caper. I combined it with a traditional spice mixture of cumin & cinnamon for a Moroccan tangine.
But first, you have to make the lemons:
1 Cup Coarse Sea Salt
3 – 4 Bay Leaves (optional)
3 – 4 1/2 Pint Jars
Thoroughly rinse lemons and give them a good scrub.
Trim each end from the lemons and quarter lengthwise into wedges.
Roll each wedge into the salt to coat evenly and place into each jar until full, squishing as necessary and extracting juice.
Push bay leaf into jar, if desired.
Using another lemon wedge, squeeze to immerse prepared lemons in juice.
Seal jar and store in refrigerator at least 3 weeks or up to 6 months.
In the first few days, rotate and tip jars to disperse salt and make sure everything is submerged.
Test after about 3 weeks. The skins should be softened and flavourful after rinsing.