Preserved lemons are used as a condiment and recipe ingredient to impart fresh, potent lemon flavor with very mild acidity and salty tang. Recipe to make them at home and a comprehensive list of ideas on how to use them.
Servings: 1 jar
- 12 small lemons (or 6 large)
- 12 tbsp coarse salt (sea or Kosher)* + more for bottom of jar(s) and to top packed lemons
- lemon juice, freshly squeezed as needed
- sterilized jar(s) with wide mouth and airtight lid
Under running cold water clean the lemons by thoroughly scrubbing the skins. Be sure to remove any wax.
Cut off the end tips and either slice the lemons in circles (better for larger fruit) OR quarter them vertically, leaving the ends attached on one side (better for smaller fruit).Remove visible seeds (optional).
To the bottom of a jar add salt. Either pack the lemon slices alternating arranged layers of lemons and salt and pressing onto them as you go to release juice OR slightly open up the quartered fruit, fill with salt generously and pack as tight as you can in a jar, adding a bit more salt around them as you go.
Fill the packed jar(s) with lemon juice** making sure that all the lemons are fully covered.
Leave to cure in a cool place/lower room temperature for about 3 to 4 weeks. Give the jar(s) a shake now and then to redistribute the salt. Add more lemon juice if levels drop and fruit becomes exposed. Rinse thoroughly before using in recipes. Consult How to Use Preserved Lemons (Prep Steps) above and Recipes Using Preserved Lemons and Preserved Lemons Uses below for tips and ideas. *Budget about 1 tbsp of salt per small lemon (or lime). Increase accordingly for larger fruit. **If you run out of lemon juice you can add a bit of cold, filtered water to ensure the fruit is fully submerged. If not fully covered with liquid pieces of lemon can develop a coating of white mold during curing. This is harmless - simply wash it off, place the lemon back in the jar and top with more lemon juice. Once cured move the preserved lemons to the fridge, they will keep well for a year, even longer. If a recipe calls for preserved lemons you will be forgoing a lot of flavor by using a fresh lemon instead. It is a good idea to always have at least a small jar of preserved lemons in your fridge:)