2lbs + 6oz salt (roughly 3/4 cup)
1 quart of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Tip: Feel free to cut the recipe in half. I did!
1. Clean the lemons, cut off the ends and quarter them
2. Pour a 1/2-inch layer of salt into the bottom of your gallon container (glass, ceramic, or food-grade plastic- I use Le Parfait Super Jar (below) and then add a layer of lemons and enough salt to cover them. Do this until all of the lemons and 2 pounds of the salt have been layered.
Tip: If you use one big container, it takes up lots of space in the fridge, which might be annoying while it’s curing for 6-8 weeks. I put mine in two of the Super Jars. I gave one to a friend and it saved lots of room in the fridge for other everyday stuff
3. Really pack the lemons into the container by pushing down on them. You want them to be entirely submerged in the salt. At the end of the curing process, they should be soft to the touch, but they won’t be if any are peeking out.
4. Pour in the lemon juice. *Don’t cheat and use water. It’s not nearly as good* You should have liquid coming up to the top of your container when you squeeze down. This is really important. Preserved lemons will mold if not fully submerged.
5. Add the remaining 6 oz of salt at the end to cover the lemons. You don’t want to see any lemons coming out of the top. Cover the container tightly and tightly wrap it in plastic wrap (otherwise juices might escape- if you use the jar, just close the jar)
6. Date and refrigerate the container/store it somewhere cool for 6 weeks. I kept it in the fridge so I didn’t risk molding the lemons. Remember that the cooler the temp, the slower the curing. I put mine in for 6 weeks, but they were much better at 8 weeks. Check the lemons weekly to make sure nothing is molding. it shouldn’t at all in the fridge.
7. After they are done curing, they will last 3-4 months in the fridge. When you’re ready to use them, rinse the lemons to get rid of the salt. Quarter your preserved lemon, lay it yellow side down on your cutting board and flatten it. Using your knife, scrape the flesh and pith out. You’ll end up with just the skin, which is all you want to use: it contains all that quintessential clean lemon flavor.
Tip: A great way to use the lemon juice is for marinating chicken. Check out the recipe here.
More ideas to use: lemon skin sauteed with asparagus, lemon skin sauteed with broccoli, but I’d love to hear other ways you use the preserved lemons to enhance your cooking!
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