Preserving Lemons

Preserved lemon adds an exotic flavor to North African tagines but it can also contribute a tasty and interesting element to many other cuisines. Experiment. Remember to reduce the usual amount of salt to allow for the saltiness of the lemon.

What You Need:

1 Cup salt, preferably kosher, canning or sea salt
Lemons, preferably organic
2 pint jars with lids

Directions:

Clean and have ready 2 pint (or 4 half-pint) jars with screw or clamp lids. Use plastic or glass lids if possible; metal lids tend to corrode from the salt and can be difficult to remove.Wash lemons to remove any wax. Trim off any serious blemishes and remove the hard stem area.

Cut each lemon length-wise into 8 wedges and remove seeds.

Cover the bottom of each jar with a thin layer of salt.

Spread about 1/4 cup of salt on a plate. Press each lemon wedge into the salt, turning to coat all sides. Pack a layer of wedges into a jar and press down hard to release juice. Sprinkle salt over the lemons and continue to layer in lemon wedges, pressing down firmly and sprinkling in extra salt to fill any gaps. Fill the jar all the way to the top, pressing down so juice completely covers the lemon pieces. Close covers securely and leave to cure at room temperature for about 2 weeks. If there seem to be air pockets, invert the jars for a day or two.

If the lid is stuck to the jar when you try to open it, invert the jar in a pan of hot water to dissolve the salt around the lid.
Refrigerate after opening.

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