Sunday, September 13, 2015

Preserved lemons #preservedlemons #orangesandlemons

Continuing the lemon and orange glut theme, today I preserved some lemons.  Why haven't I done this before?  It's so easy.

Firstly, scrub your lemons.

And then leave the washed lemons in fresh water, changing the water each day for three days.  Yes, that's right, three days.  In one of the recipes I read it says the soaking helps to rid the lemons of gas(?) and assists in softening the rind.  Okay.  Sounds reasonable.

Sterilise some jars.  ( I just put them through the sauce-pan setting in the dishwasher, or you could wash them and them warm them in the oven).

Cut the lemon into wedges and sprinkle each wedge with about half a teaspoon of salt and drop the wedge into the jar.  Keep doing this until it is packed full.  During the packing stage you can add some spices.  One recipe I read suggested adding bay leaves and birds-eye chillis. I added fennel seeds and star anise.

Lastly, boil water and fill the jars with the water.  Screw the lids on tightly immediately. As the jars cool, a vacuum should occur, sealing the jars. You should hear the lids make a "popping" noise at some stage, indicating that the jar is sealed.

Leave the lemons for at least 40 days to cure. When the lemons are ready to be used, keep the open jar in the refrigerator.

The rinsed lemon rind (the flesh is bitter) of preserved lemons are great for marinades and a range of recipes.  Simply google "preserved lemon recipes".

Or, you could use the whole lemon wedges for stuffing poultry etc. I use lemon wedges, along with a couple of bay leaves, to stuff chicken prior to roasting.  I think the preserved lemon wedges will add a more intense flavour than fresh lemons.  I'll let you know how it goes - in forty days.

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