Saturday, August 16, 2008

Preserving Lemons

We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavours and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman

Sad isn't it!! But not in my house, our real lemons are being preserved for future consumption!

I am not certain what it was that enticed me to preserve lemons in the first place. It is not that I had a recipe for them. It is not that it is part of my family's traditions. Perhaps I simply thought they'd be yum (which they are) or that I simply had an excess of them from Grandad's lemon tree. Whatever it was, I am really glad I preserved them a couple of years ago as we now enjoy them in making Moussaka and casseroles and I'll try them in Moroccan Chicken soon as well.

It is time to preserve some more. I found these lovely jars at IKEA and now have some excess lemons to preserve.
The method for preserving is very simple. It needs to be done over a couple of days however so some planning for your week will stand you in good stead so as not to be caught out on the busiest preservation day.

Firstly break the pores of the lemons by scraping them gently against the medium setting of a grater. Put lemons in a large bowl and cover completely with water. Put aside in a cool place.

Next day, pour the water off the lemons and cover with fresh water. This removes any bitterness.

On the third day pour off the water. Using a sharp knife, make four deep slits in each lemon (they should go about halfway to the centre). Pack each incision with a good heaped teaspoon of rock salt. Ess loved helping with this part. She was master of the salt the whole time.

Place stuffed lemons into a sterilised glass jar (I placed mine in the oven to sterilise them while cooking some breakfast cereal on the same morning).

Add cardamom pods, bay leaves or chillies. We simply added bay leaves as this is what we had available.

Pour boiling water over the contents of the jar and place on the lid while the water is still hot.

Leave for 40 days in a cool place.

Enjoy your preserved lemons and please do share if you know of any great recipes using preserved lemons. I find Maggie Beer's recipes are marvellous so do try her Moussaka mentioned above. She knows exactly what to do to make food fabulous.


The Old Dairy said...

Hi Cee,
Never thought to preserve lemons, don't know why? I'll be raiding my dear Mother in-laws lemontree. I gather that there would be no differance if I used bush lemons. I love all the felt food at day to day I wish my girls were still little so I could make them some.

Melissa Goodsell said...

oh dear, these look positively yummy! What a great idea Cee.

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