Here’s my next pantry challenge…a little bit different but lots of fun.
I love canning things-all sorts of different jams, chutneys and pickles. There is something very comforting about having all of the jars of goodies lined-up waiting for an ugly day-like ducks in a row.
I am guessing this stems from going into the farm’s cellar on a “job” for my Gran. Realistically she likely just wanted to 30 seconds in the kitchen without me underfoot but I felt like I was helping. Only jars of glowing goodies would have tempted me into venturing into that dark limestone cave that a very subborn Gibson had at one time carved out of the rock.
Canning season is almost here but I just can’t help myself after reading “Cook the Story”‘s description of chicken with preserved lemons and butter tucked under the skin and baked.
I MUST HAVE THIS SOON.
Not to mention the cocktail that another blogger alluded to using preserved lemons. Fabulous!
Preserved lemons are an odd combination of salty, brightness with an unimaginable bit of sweet to them. You find them a lot in morroccan dishes but they are really versatile and quite beautiful in the jars.
Sadly, I didn’t have any preserved lemon-until now!
How to Make Preserved Lemons
8-10 Meyer lemons*, scrubbed very clean
1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed
Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
Sterilized quart canning jar
* You don’t need to use Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do, it’s just that the milder Meyer lemons work very well for preserving in this way.
1 Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.
2 One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwize, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.
3 Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.
4 Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.
5 Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down ocassionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down ocassionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.
6 To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired.
7 Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.
You can add spices to the lemons for preserving – cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf.
I kept things old school and didn’t add any other ingredients as I have Preserved lemon cocktails running through my head.