I’ve always been interested in making these, but never gotten around to it. If nothing else, it takes the juice of a LOT of lemons, in addition to the lemons that are cut up in the jar. Earlier this week, though, I bought a 5lb bag of lemons with the idea of making homemade limoncello (more about that in another post). After I zested lemons for the vodka infusion, I was left with a pile of naked lemons and no clue what to do with them. Then I remembered the stack of recipes I had for North African/Moroccan preserved lemons. All of the recipes call for the same basic steps – pack the lemons in salt, press them to down to release the juice, top off with more juice, and store them, covered, for a few weeks until the rinds are soft.
Easy enough. So that’s what I did. And here are the results. I didn’t really measure anything.
I scrubbed 4 lemons thoroughly with a brush to make sure I got the wax and whatever off the skins.
Then I sliced them into wedges (Some recipes call for chunks, some for slices, some for whole lemons. I liked the look of the wedges.)
I put them in a bowl and tossed them with kosher salt until each wedge had a thick covering of salt. Seriously I have no idea how much salt I used. A lot.
Then I packed the wedges into a 1qt canning jar, using a chopstick to help me push the wedges down. I probably could have taken more time and made pretty patterns in arranging them, but I was going for volume, not aesthetics here.
Then I topped off the jar with lemon juice from the poor naked lemons I’d shaved for the limoncello.
Finally I sealed the jar and stuck it in the back of my fridge. I’ll check on it in about 2 weeks and see where we’re at. (Oh and the next day I moved the lemons to the jar you see at the beginning of this post. I have heard that the salt and lemon juice will eventually cause the regular canning lids to corrode – don’t want that!)