Preserving Lemons

Fresh lemons

Fresh lemons

If you love Moroccan food or if you love lemons, you should try making your own Preserved Lemons.

It’s easy and Preserved Lemons can elevate anything from a lemon loaf to a chicken stew from the mundane to the magical.

Here’s how to make a jar, which keeps for a year or more in your fridge.

Preserved LemonSterilize a one quart mason jar by washing it well in warm soapy water and boiling it in in a big pot of water for 15 minutes.

Wash 8-12 lemons, depending on whether you’re using big ones or little guys.

Cut the lemons in quarters.  In a bowl, toss the lemons with a 1/2 cup of salt.

Preserved Lemons resizedPlace 1 Tablespoon of salt on the bottom of a large mason jar or a couple of smaller jars. Push the lemons into the jar, pressing down well to squeeze out some juice. Sprinkle  with salt. Continue packing in the lemons tightly, sprinkling each layer with more salt. If the juice does not cover the lemons, pour some freshly squeezed lemon juice over them.

Preserved LemonsSeal the jar (or jars) tightly. Put them away on a pantry shelf and, every few days, turn the jars over.

Here’s the hard part: do this for at least 30 days. Wait. Be patient. It’s hard, I know, but it will be worth it.

Then use your lemons to make lemon pound cake (recipe coming in a few weeks), a hearty tagine from one of Paula Wolfert’s books, salad dressings or pasta (roasted garlic and preserved lemons…MMMMMM).

Amnah's Meatball Tajine

Amnah’s Meatball Tajine

The meatball tagine picture is from the blog, marocmama

The lemons will keep indefinitely, refrigerated and the liquid can be reused to make the next batch.

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