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Preserved Lemons

Preserved Meyer Lemons

Preserved Meyer Lemons

This is a staple of Moroccan cooking. Although most recipes call for the use of your basic lemon, this particular one calls for the use of Meyer lemons. Either way the lemony flavor that results after preservation is quite subtle and very unique.

The technique is what is important. The batch size and containers used are up to you. The recipe that follows is how we proceeded with the project.

12 Meyer lemons, or standard lemons
12 teaspoons of kosher salt
3, 1 pint mason jars

Cut the lemons in half, and then quarter the halves without cutting all the way through. Each half should consist of four attached pieces.

Over a large non-reactive bowl (glass, ceramic, or stainless) squeeze the juice out of the lemon pieces with your hands and remove the seeds. It is really hard to get all the seeds. If you do not catch them all you can remove them before cooking.

Sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon of salt on each quarter of the lemon half. Press the lemon halves into the jar. If you do not have small hands a wooden spoon or mortar would be helpful. You should be able to press four whole lemons per jar depending on the size. It is important to pack the jars extremely tightly with the lemons.

Cover the lemons with the lemon juice from the bowl. Add the tops of the mason jars and turn tightly. Due to the high acid levels of the lemon juice and the concentration of salt there is no need to heat the jars and seal them. If you are squeamish about that I suppose you can heat them. I am not sure if it will change the result.

Leave the jars un-refrigerated for a week. Place the jars in the refrigerator. Recommendations are not to use the lemons for three months to allow the rinds to soften. And most recipes indicate that the lemons will last for up to one year in the refrigerator.