Preserved Lemons Take One

lemons in strainer

Preserved lemons are something I read about on a regular basis. I was tempted, but didn’t figure the husband would really use them or be willing to eat them. But then I figured they would be good in marinades, and I stumbled across a post for making preserved lemon curd. So I had to make some. I followed the instructions from Phickle, cause I was already there drooling over, I mean reading the recipes.

Ingredients:

small lemons for preserving

good juice lemons for covering the preserved lemons if needed

salt (kosher or sea salt-not fine grained)

spices if desired (I used star anise, cloves, allspice and cinnamon in one of mine)

Scrub small lemons to clean peels. Slice one of two ways. First choice is simply into quarters, the other is almost into quarters, leaving the pieces attached at the bottom. Sprinkle exposed flesh with salt.

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Place a couple tablespoons of salt into bottom of jar, then put a layer of lemon in. Smoosh lemons to free juices, sprinkle some salt and add part of spices if using.

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Repeat until all lemons are in jar or jar is full. If lemons are not submerged in their own juices, use juicing lemons to top off the jar.

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Cover and place in a dark spot-removing once a day to shake jar vigorously and venting lid. Ready to use in a month for regular lemons, possibly a bit earlier of thin skinned Meyers.

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I have three jars started. One with a mix of regular and Meyer lemons with just sea salt. One with a mix of lemons and spices and sea salt. And the last with just Meyers and kosher salt. Hopefully in a couple weeks I can compare them and pick the best one for me. A tip from Food in Jars is to take some and blend them into a paste to easily stir into sauces and dressings. That way instead of a big production of digging one out, scrapping the flesh and then chopping it you can just dip a spoonful out quickly.

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I started this post so long ago that I have already finished the first batch and started a second. With the last of the Meyer Lemons and some key limes. I decided I’d check the local thrift stores for some containers before I started, just to try and save some cash. I came up with four containers, all matching for $1.99 and $2.99 each. The smaller ones were $1.99 each and one even has the Bed, Bath & Beyond price of $3.99 still on it. They needed cleaned and some new gaskets, but I still came out at 50% or less of the original price tag, since one was the 50% color at Goodwill. Apparently the appeal without the gasket is pretty small. So I started the biggest one with lemons and one of the smaller ones with the key limes. The limes turned a bit brown, but they smell amazing.

I haven’t made the curd yet, but I did process a jar of lemon sludge, and it smells amazing. I’ve used it in a marinade a couple times as well as a salad dressing and a sandwich spread. And I am so happy that I finally took the plunge and made a jar or five.

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