This is a very simple way to preserve lemons. It simply involved a lot of salt and a few spices if you want to use them. My recipe is based on one in the book The Art of Preserving by Jan Berry and Rodney Weidland.
The following quantities are for 8-10 lemons. Spread the ingredients evenly between how ever many jars you are using.
Ingredients (per 8-10 lemons):
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 peppercorns
- 2 cardamon pods
- additional juice of 2 lemons
- extra virgin olive oil
- Make sure your jars are sterile. I do this by washing them with boiling, soapy water, rinsing well, and placing both the jars and lids on a tray in the oven at about 110 degrees Celsius until all the water has evaporated from the jars. (there are many other methods to sterilise jars- feel free to use your own!)
- Scrub the lemon skins to remove any dirt, scale or wax.
- Cut each lemon into quarters.
- Sprinkle some salt into the bottom of the jar and start stacking the lemon pieces, sprinkling with more salt, and adding the spices. Squeeze the lemons in tightly as you go, releasing some of their juice.
- Keep stacking and squeezing, distributing the ingredients evenly between jars if you are using multiple jars.
- Pour the juice from the additional two lemons into the jar/s. I find that the jars are mostly filled with juice by this point. Pour in enough extra virgin olive oil to fill the jar to the top. This provides a seal and will help stop any mould from growing.
- Seal with the lid as firmly as possible and store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- Leave for at least a month before using (I prefer 2-3 months). I have found they last as long as a year.
- Once opened, store in the fridge.
- To use the preserved lemons, remove and discard the flesh, rinse the remaining preserved rind thoroughly under cool water and slice the preserved rind as directed in your recipe.
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