kitchen alchemy: how to make preserved lemons

After talking about one of my favourite preserved lemon recipes yesterday, I got a couple of emails from people asking a very good question…

‘How do you make preserved lemons anyway?’

I’m glad you asked (recipe below).

I’ve long thought of making preserved lemons as a kind of kitchen alchemy. Given how expensive they can be to buy v’s the tiny cost of making them yourself.

I mean all you need are lemons, salt and time… a great project for the Christmas holidays.

preserved lemons
makes 1 medium jar

3 – 4 thick skinned lemons
extra lemon juice
6 – 8 tablespoons fine sea salt
1-2 bay leaves, optional

1. Sterilise a medium jar (with a good lid or seal) by popping in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle, or using your favourite sterilisation method.

2. Place the thick skinned lemons in a strainer and pour boiling water over the lemons to get rid of any dirt or bugs. Drain.

3. Chop a lemon into quarters, lengthwise.

4. Place a tablespoon salt in the bottom of the jar and pack in the lemon quarters, squashing them in to release as much juice as possible. Scatter with another tablespoon salt.

5. Repeat with the other 2 – 3 lemons, until the jar is full. If using the bay leaves, poke them in along the sides of the jar while layering.

6. Finish with a final tablespoon of salt. Cover with lemon juice. Seal jar and store at room temperature for 4 weeks before using.

Jules x

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