Monday, August 8, 2011

Preserved Lemons

This one intrigued me when I first learning about, it is something that Ive never seen in Ontario; However it seemed easy, safe, cheap, and more importantly a great way to use up excess lemons. This ingredient hails mostly from Africa, and the middle east and I first learned about it in Ruhlman’s Charcuterie, however I chose to adapt this recipe:  . I hear it is important to use organic lemons, and preferably ones with a thin skin as its the rind that will be used. If you use normal market lemons make the extra effort to really give the skins a good scrubbing.

Lemons (quartered)
1 tbsp Salt per lemon
Cinnamon stick
Star Anise
3 Cloves

I packed them into the jar a few at time, and gave them a good tablespoon of sea salt for each lemon. Try to squish them as much as possible to get the juices flowing. I just threw the spices in the bottom of the jar whole. After a day you will see some liquid start to collect into the bottom, and after three the lemons should be just about submerged in the self created brine of salt and lemon juice. It is important that there are no air pockets (this will encourage the growth of mold). If the lemons are not fully submerged underneath the brine, feel free to squeeze in the juice a few lemons until covered. Leave out on the counter for a month. They should have slightly changed colour to a light brown, this is normal. After one month keep in the fridge (they should stay good for quite some time. Other recipes suggest a warm dark cupboard, and they will stay good indefinitely (maybe next time). To use simply take as many as you need, rinse, and scrap out the pulp with a sharp knife. Use for anything that you would like to introduce a tangy lemony flavour.