Preserved Fresh Lemons

Preserved Fresh Lemons created by French Tart

I always have at least one jar of preserved lemons made & ready to use; I use them extensively, especially in Tagines and Maghreb, (North African) cuisine. They are also wonderful when diced very finely and added to a whole chicken, or lamb for roasting. Just a small amount can enhance all types of daube, stew, casserole or crock-pot cooking. These are very easy to make & add a splash of colour to your pantry. DO try use unwaxed and untreated lemons wherever possible.

Ready In:
720hrs 30mins
Yields:
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ingredients

directions

  • Soak the lemons in water for 2 to 3 days, changing the water 2 - 3 times, once a day.
  • Pat the lemons dry and quarter them from the top to just above the bottom, about 1/2" - leaving them in one piece.
  • Open up the lemons slightly, and sprinkle the sea salt onto the cut flesh - reshape them afterwards, so they look whole again.
  • Place half the remaining salt in the bottom of a large Sterilising jar; I use 1.5 litre Kilner jar for this amount.
  • Pack the lemons in and add the bay leaf and spices amongst the lemons.
  • Add the remaining salt & press down to release the lemon juice from the lemons.
  • Pour over the lemon juice - it's difficult to say exactly how much, but the last time I made these, I used about 500mls of unsweetened lemon juice; and in the past, I have used between 6 & 8 fresh lemons, squeezed - depending on the juiciness & size of lemons!
  • Seal and leave for at least one month; these will last up to 6-10 months in ideal conditions, dark & cool.
  • When you come to use the lemons, make sure you rinse them thoroughly beforehand.
  • IDEAS: Chop them up finely and add to baked fish dishes; put a whole lemon in to the cavity of a chicken to roast - take it out when cooked, and chop up finely and add to any gravy or sauce; Cut into quarters and add to tagines & stews; finely dice a lemon and add to sauces and stocks for stews & crockpot recipes -- the list is endless!
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@French Tart
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@French Tart
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"I always have at least one jar of preserved lemons made & ready to use; I use them extensively, especially in Tagines and Maghreb, (North African) cuisine. They are also wonderful when diced very finely and added to a whole chicken, or lamb for roasting. Just a small amount can enhance all types of daube, stew, casserole or crock-pot cooking. These are very easy to make & add a splash of colour to your pantry. DO try use unwaxed and untreated lemons wherever possible."

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  1. travelingclary
    Lemon prices are sky high and they are waxed here in Thailand since they are imported. Limes on the other hand are cheap and abundant. Will give this recipe a try with limes instead. Has anyone else tried this with limes, and was the "in recipes" taste totally different using preserved limes?
  2. Busy Student
    These were great! I made a batch quite a long time ago, but hadn't gotten around to using them (hubby is vegan and I wasn't sure what to use them on). But, I added some to Couscous with plums (132256), and it was great! Thanks for posting!
  3. The Dabblers
    I've been making preserved lemons for years like a purist salt and lemon juice and nothing else - and the lemons joined at the base. Then I saw this recipe with the name that introduced me to French style strawberry conserve so I decided to give it a whirl. What joy, how delicious, almost good enough to eat with a spoon. I'll never do them plain again. The only think I did different was to cut the lemons into quarters, not as pretty but I'm not giving them away either and I can get more into the jar. Another brilliant effort Karen. Thanks and regards, John
  4. 8elbows
    I'm not rating because I must have done something wrong -- the lemons at the top of the jar (poking out just slightly above the liquid) started to mold. I'm going to try again making sure that I completely cover the lemons. (It did smell delicious! I was sad to pour out the first batch.)
  5. Chef Kate
    So far, excllent! I have always used Paula Wolfert's recipe for preserved lemons--the technique is the same, but the use of the cloves and bay and coriander is new. I have gotten to Step 8--my jar is setting on a shelf in the darkest part of the cool cellar. I'll report back anon...Six months later, I'm finally reporting back. These are great preserved lemons. I just used them in English Rose's Recipe #233658--a great tagine, only made better with these.
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