Tuesday, June 17, 2014

preserved lemons

I've been wanting to try this for a while now. It's a little time consuming, but simple to do.  They will hang out for 4-6 weeks and then I'll be giving them a taste test, and hopefully making this chicken dish, which I've been eyeing for a while now.

Preserved Lemons

Prepare a clean, heat-proof glass jar by filling it with boiling water; soak the lid covered in boiling water also (do not use metal).  Prepare the lemons.

7-8 large Meyer lemons
extra lemons for juicing (probably 4-5)
Sea salt

Cut the ends off the lemons. Stand a lemon on the end, slice through vertically until you reach about 1/2 inch from the bottom - do not cut completely through. Make another slice crosswise to the first. Your lemon will be quartered, but still connected at the bottom. Prepare all the lemons this way.

Empty the jar and pour 2 tablespoons of sea salt onto the bottom.

Open the quartered lemon and pour in 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Squish it around so the salt starts working on the lemon juices (do this over a cutting board with a trough, so you can collect any juice and salt that is released), and then smash it down into the bottom of the jar. Repeat with the remaining lemons, smashing them down to release the juices. When all the quartered lemons are in the jar, juice enough of the remaining lemons to cover the jarred lemons completely in juice.  Be sure to add the collected juice/salt that is on the cutting board.

My lemons floated a bit, so I cut a circle from a plastic container lid (such as a ricotta container) and put it over the top of the lemons to keep them submerged.

Set the jar in a cool place out of direct light and leave to preserve for at least 4 weeks. To use, rinse the excess salt off the lemon first, and use both pulp and peel as your recipe dictates.

 I'll surely be letting you know how this works out. :)

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