Preserved Lemons (and Limes)
6 or so large Lemons
Jar to fit lemons
Kosher salt (about 3 cups should do it.)
4-10 cloves (optional)
I like the colors they make when I put them together.
The most important thing to do is to make sure your lemons are scrubbed clean and free of any dirt, blemishes, soft spots, mold, anything that will ruin a whole batch of them.. clean clean clean.
Holding a citrus upright (like Lucy holding Charlie Brown’s football) carefully slice down the length of the lemon until you are an inch from the bottom. Turn 90 degrees and slice the same way so you have 4 quadrants, all connected at the base.
I like to do this over a big salad bowl because the salt gets everywhere.. You stuff salt into and around the lemons. Literally pack in as much salt as you can without letting the lemons burst open. Once you are finished salting, clean your hands and ready a clean jar. I prefer using those with a gasket and wire lever for the glass lid. I think they look cool.
Turn each lemon over so the loose ends are pointed downward. Stuff about 3 lemons / limes into the jar and then press down gently, splaying out the lemons and squishing them a bit. Keep doing this until the jar is full of lemons. If you like, alternate lemons and limes. Throw in your cloves if you want before filling it completely. Once you have filled to the brim, squish down any extra air and if there is any, fill it with lemon juice. You want the jar to be brimming with citrus and salt. Close the jar and place in the fridge for a month.
I’ve only done this about 5 times and was successful 4 out of 5. Once, I found a little bit of mold and had to toss the whole jar away. Once a month passes, the lemons will be super soft and awesome for use in tagine recipes, marmalades, and chutneys. You will probably not use more than the peel (removing the pulp and pith are typical for most recipes..) But this comes in handy when you have to cook for a lot and actually use a whole lemon!
Yum yum and thank you to madame croquette for reminding me of this yummy treat!