Sunday, January 9, 2011

Preserved Meyer lemons

Preserved lemons (the regular kind) are used in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking quite a bit. They're salty and tangy all at once, and since I had both a box of Meyer lemons and some canning jars, I decided to make my own. These babies will be delish with some Israeli couscous and butternut squash and maybe some dried cherries.

You can use regular lemons for this, as well (preferably organic/unwaxed). Either way, scrub them good to clean the outsides, and sterilize the jar by boiling it for 15 minutes. You'll need around 6 lemons to each quart jar.

Once the lemons are cleaned, slice the end off, and cut an X into each lemon, stopping about 2/3 of the way down. You don't want to cut it all the way into quarters. Put a couple tablespoons of kosher salt in the bottom of the jar. Get a good tablespoon of salt inside each lemon, rubbing it in thoroughly, as well as a little on the outside. Squish each lemon into the jar. Keep squishing. The jar should be filled with juice when you're done cramming all the lemons in. If not, add a little more juice to the top. Add a couple more tablespoons of salt to the top, and seal the jar.

Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days, flipping the jar upside down each day to redistribute the juice and salt. Then put it in the fridge and continue the flipping process, every other day.

The lemons will be ready in about three weeks. Wash off the excess salt when using (you'll use the peel and everything, which is why it's important to get unwaxed lemons if at all possible). They'll keep in the fridge for six months or so.

I just jarred this batch yesterday, so I'll report back in a month to let you know how they turned out!

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