Lemons are a good introduction to preservation and a good thing to know how to make if you find yourself with a surplus of lemons. The flavour is fragrant, not bitter, and of course lemony.
Preserved lemons are an indispensable ingredient in Moroccan food. They can be used in salads, stew and even cakes. Anywhere that lemon peel is used, preserved lemons can be used. Traditionally, the rind used in cooking, and the pulp discarded. Taste the pulp and decide if you want to use it or not.
Meyer lemons make wonderful preserved lemons. You can also use the same procedure on limes or kumquats.
1 Squeaky clean 750 mL (3 cup) jar and lid
Thoroughly wash and dry five of the lemons. Quarter them from the top to within ½-inch (1.25 cm) of the bottom. Spread the lemons open slightly and sprinkle salt on the flesh.
Place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) salt on the bottom of the jar. Pack in the lemons, pushing them down and adding more salt as you go. Press on the lemons to release their juice and to make room for the remaining lemons. If the juice does not cover the lemons add freshly squeezed lemon juice from the remaining three lemons. Leave a little headspace and seal the jar.
Let the lemons sit in a warm place for a month, shaking and turning over the jar each day. When ready, the peel will be slightly translucent. A lacy substance may develop on the lemons which is not harmful. Rinse it off before using. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, refrigerated.