Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Preserved Lemons

While researching for a class, I came across preserved lemons, used as an ingredient in many North African and Middle Eastern dishes. I've never had preserved lemon, and thought it looked interesting. I have a few more shops to look, but cannot find this in town. So, I decided to make some. One can find many recipes on the internet, just google it. Here's what I did: Wash lemons, not only to clean, but to remove any wax that may have been applied to the fruit for shipping. I used regular, store-bought lemons. Cut the lemons in quarters, almost all the way through. I ended up cutting them in half, then one in quarters, as I was using small jars. Stuff kosher salt into the lemon. Pack into jars. The juice will start to come out, add more lemon juice to the jars to cover. I wiped off the rims of the jars with clean paper towel to remove any salt or lemon residue, then put lids on them. (I used sterilized jars and lids.) I put them in a water bath for 10 minutes, although this step isn't required. I would imagine that one could use a large apothecary jar, or a sun tea jar, or something similar. If using larger jars, keep the lemons "whole" (but sliced almost through). One can also add spices like cinnamon, and a bay leaf. I left mine plain. Let it sit for 3 weeks, turning the jar every day or so, to help the salt redistribute and dissolve. We'll see what happens... check back in a month for a dish where I'll use them as an ingredient.

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