I’m a huge fan of all things lemon. If I have a choice I’ll take lemon anything: cookies, cakes, scones, etc. Sadly lemons don’t grow in NE Ohio (unless you can manage an indoor tree) so finding a local source is not going to happen. The next best thing to local, is finding a small orchard to buy them from. I searched on-line and found a small orchard in California called Lemon Ladies Orchard. I ordered a 10-lb box of Meyer lemons and they arrived several days later.
meyer_lemons
I have so many recipes for these lemons I probably will run out of lemons long before I complete them all. First on my list was making a batch of preserved lemons for the pantry.
Lemons_on_cutting_board
I picked out 15 nice lemons, coarse sea salt and grabbed a nice sized jar from the pantry. While I sterilized the jar, I washed and quartered 10 of the lemons (cut the stem end off and quarter lemons lengthwise). Next I added the lemon quarters to my jar adding a scant tablespoon of salt after each row. Pack the lemons tightly but don’t crush them. You can also add spices if you’d like, cinnamon, cloves, etc.
preserving_lemons
Keep adding lemons and salt until you’re up to the top of the jar (I used a quart jar, you can use 2 pints if you’d like).
Salted_lemons
When you reach the top, take the remaining 5 lemons and roll on the counter to soften (makes them juice better). Juice the lemons into the jar, add enough juice to cover the lemons, use more lemons if needed. Remove any air bubbles and top off with the remaining salt (you want to use about a half cup total for this recipe).
juicing_lemon
Allow lemons to ferment on the counter for 2 weeks (3-4 weeks if you used regular lemons and not Meyer). Shake the jar occasionally (every couple days) to redistribute salt. Store in the fridge and enjoy in recipes, they’ll keep for about 6 months. When you want to use them you can rinse the lemons if you don’t want to add so much salt to your recipe or you can leave them salty. They may acquire some white crystals, this is OK. Here’s a recipe for Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash & Preserved Lemons.
squeezed_lemons
Not wanting to waste any part of these lovely lemons, I decided to candy the rinds of the lemons I used for juice.
candied_lemon_rinds
These little jewels are so tasty! I also used the syrup left from the candied lemons and made some lemon ginger hard candy. *recipe for candied lemon peel

What’s your favorite flavor?

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33 Responses to Making Preserved Lemons

  1. Mangochild says:

    The color on those lemons is delightful. I had no idea that one could eat the rinds as candy! Though since they are used as zest, why not? I am clearly somewhat slow on the uptake here 🙂 Do they get hard, or are they more chewy?
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..CSA share report: November 14, 2009 =-.

  2. These photos are so lovely! Love this blog.

  3. vrtlaricaana says:

    My mouth is watering…
    .-= vrtlaricaana´s last blog ..Preparing strawberry bed for winter =-.

  4. Tree says:

    Can you tell us how you candied the lemons, and then made candy. I also love all things lemon and while I am thinking about getting a tree or three 😉 I won’t have local lemons for over a year.
    .-= Tree´s last blog ..Today’s Ten Things =-.

  5. Louise says:

    Susy,
    After you allow the lemons to ferment on the counter for 2 weeks do you wash off the salt, or do you rinse them prior to using? If not, do the lemons taste salty when you use them? As always your photos and process are wonderful.

  6. Rhonda says:

    I have the same question as Louise.

    Also … just wanted to say that my Grandma used to make lemon peel candy as well as grapefruit and orange. Lemon is yummy but grapefruit is my favorite. My Grandma’s candy is one of my favorite Christmas memories. She passed about 10 years ago and I miss her so… Maybe I’ll have to take up her tradition of making the candied peels. 🙂

    • Susy says:

      I think I would love love love grapefruit as well. I’m planning on buying some organic grapefruit this winter when they’re in season to make some candied peels.

  7. Christine says:

    Living in Florida is great in this aspect. We’ve got a handful of citrus trees out front, and we’re already starting to get some ripe tangerines!
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education =-.

  8. lee says:

    Have you considered growing a dwarf lemon in a pot? 18 inch pot is big enough for it as long as you prune it a bit every year. The ripe lemons stay on the tree forever until you pick them. When it gets cold just bring it in and leave it by a sunny window.

    • Susy says:

      I do have a small citrus in a pot, but it never flowered. Probably since I started it from a seed. I’m hoping to get a few dwarf citrus for Christmas, then perhaps I’ll be able to grow a few of my own lemons/limes.

  9. ChicagoMike says:

    Outstanding!
    .-= ChicagoMike´s last blog ..FarmVille =-.

  10. Jackie says:

    Thanks for giving us these recipes! I have a lemon tree that I plants 1.5 years ago and I just picked it’s first lemon. It’s great how you didn’t want to waste any part of the lemon. Very excited about the lemon peel candy!
    .-= Jackie´s last blog ..BPA is in our canning lids – very sad =-.

  11. Jaspenelle says:

    Your produce photos never fail to make me drool. Since I was raised in Europe (and for part of that time in Spain) I have a deep love for Moroccan food which heavily uses preserved lemons so I drool even more so with this entry! My mother made a really wonderful lamb tagine that had preserved lemons, which I am now craving in fact.

    My favorite flavor? I love citrus, lemon, grapefruit, lime and especially blood orange. However I have yet to see a decent blood orange since moving to the USA, especially since I live in a zone 5.

    I also adore chocolate of course, a local candy store makes a lemon filled dark chocolate truffle, the best of both worlds in my book!
    .-= Jaspenelle´s last blog ..Preparing =-.

    • Susy says:

      I was thinking about dipping the candied lemon peel in some dark chocolate, I think that would be delicious!

      I love grapefruit as well, I’m hoping to order a nice box later this winter.

  12. Karen Morss says:

    Suzy, The only thing that gives me more pleasure than growing these lemons is seeing what my wonderful customers do with them once they arrive. Thanks so much for mentioning Lemon Ladies Orchard!

  13. warren says:

    Susy! That is such an awesome idea! I am so gonna make some of them! I am trying to grow a Meyer lemon tree in my office at work and it has a great lemon on it…but it hasn’t yellowed yet. Anyhow, I love lemons as well. I also like vanilla a lot and raspberry!
    .-= warren´s last blog ..I got the fever =-.

  14. Thomas says:

    Susy – nicely done! I harvested 3 Meyer lemons from my potted tree this past weekend and made marmalade. I was planning on saving a couple from my remaining 6 to make preserved lemons (using juice from ordinary lemons). Not bad for a little tree raised in Northern Massachusetts.

    I LOVE the complex flavor of these lemons. Hopefully you will get that dwarf citrus tree from Mr. Chiot’s this year.
    .-= Thomas´s last blog ..Making Meyer Lemon Marmalade =-.

  15. elena says:

    dude that lemon peel sounds awesome!

  16. Bruce F says:

    I think the word I’m looking for is serendipity.

    Your blog came up in my Google Reader under “Recommendations”, so I stopped by.

    When I found your piece on Preserved Lemons, I had a shock of recognition. In a happy coincidence, I did a post on the same subject, including the candied rinds, about a week ago. Great minds and all that……….

    http://greenroofgrowers.blogspot.com/2009/11/lemons-preserved-and-candied.html

    We found that the candied rinds taste great frozen. Try it!
    .-= Bruce F´s last blog ..What Are You Eating? Crustless Zucchini Pie =-.

  17. Peggy says:

    Oh my goodness, I just made it over to your blog and love it!! I’ve seen your comments on The Nourishing Gourmet before but never dropped by!

    We were “neighbors” for a time I see! Just over 4 years ago we moved from NE Ohio (just outside Youngstown in Liberty township) to the Interior of Alaska… However we are now on our way back down south. Indiana this time!

    I am so excited about your source for Meyer lemons! I’ll have a kitchen to restock after our move so will definitely keep them in mind.
    Our youngest child loves salty and sour foods so it will be a trial to keep him out of them but I think he will be placated with the extra rinds!! In fact, he doesn’t know it but he is getting a jar of candied organic lemon and orange peel for Christmas. I’ve been working on them when he is at school during the day. We like to steep the lemon peels in just a bit of ginger syrup for a short bit prior to drying for a little added spice.

    Looking forward to perusing your blog a little more indepth!

  18. Gu and Gi says:

    Pickles made with Citrus fruits are a commonplace in the southern part of India. The fruits are preserved with salt, cayenne pepper and ground mustard with sesame oil to hold everything together. These are spicy and go well with most breads or rice.

    The candied lemons sound nice. I will try to make them sometime soon. I used to love the candied gooseberries my mom made when i was growing up

  19. viggie says:

    So very cool!
    .-= viggie´s last blog ..New Additions =-.

  20. […] Preserved Lemons from Chiot’s Run […]

  21. JodyM says:

    I did that couscous recipe last week with some preserved lemons I made in a spice brine, it was really really good. Really. But my husband hates the preserved lemons! He needs his tongue scraped.
    .-= JodyM´s last blog ..Not My Fault Monday =-.

  22. […] rolls and some sourdough bread being made. I also made some lemon marmalade with some of those Meyer Lemons I have. I’ll be giving some of this away as gifts, of course some will stay here for us to enjoy […]

  23. […] but recently I’ve read so much about preserved lemons on blogs like Sustainable Eats and Chiot’s Run that I just had to try my hand at making some. My only hurdle was that despite all that citrus I […]

  24. […] Make Your Own: Brown Sugar Make Your Own: Baking Powder Make Your Own: Ghee Make Your Own: Butter Make Your Own: Preserved Lemons Make Your Own: Ketchup Make Your Own: Sauerkraut Make Your Own: Canned Tomato SoupMake Your Own: […]

  25. […] and wild black raspberries. Yesterday I decided that some blueberries would go perfectly with those lemons I got a while back. I settled on blueberry muffin cake, since it would pair perfectly with our […]

  26. […] squash ravioli, squash pudding and some Barley with Butternut Squash & Preserved Lemons (remember those preserved lemons I made?). These will all be for the Real Food Challenge over at Not Dabbling, so I’ll be taking photos of […]

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