When life gives you lemons, preserve them

Preserved Meyer Lemons

I’ve always wanted to preserve lemons. This time every year, Meyer lemons appear at Kin’s Farm Market for just a few bucks. They are sweeter and smaller than regular lemons and pretty darn tasty to boot. I’m having a love affair with them. I think you could use preserved lemons in anything you would regular lemon, like vinaigrettes, marinades, potato salad, quinoa salad, dips, cakes, couscous, bloody mary mix. I once added them (purchased) to homemade cocktail sauce and that was pretty tasty. My lovely sister Steph added them to her homemade tomato jam and I can’t wait to try it.

Here is how you make them:

5-6 lemons
1/4 cup salt, more if desired
Freshly squeezed lemon juice


1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
5 to 6 coriander seeds
3 to 4 black peppercorns
1 to 2 star anise
1 to 2 bay leaves

Cut the stem off the top of the lemons. Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom. Generously sprinkle salt on the flesh, then reshape the lemons.

Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of a clean mason jar (I sterilized mine). Pack in the lemons and squish them down, adding more salt, and the optional spices. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. If the juice released from the squashed fruit does not cover them, add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Leave some air space before sealing the jar.

Let the lemons ripen in the fridge shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days. To use, rinse the lemons under running water (they’ll be briney and salty), removing and discarding the pulp, if desired. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year.


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One thought on “When life gives you lemons, preserve them

  1. Steph’s Shiny Tomato Jam « shinytomato February 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm Reply

    […] preserved lemon or 1 orange, seeded and […]

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