Lately I got into making morrocan tajines and during my research I learned about preserved lemons. I found them in a store and they where really expensive so I decided to make them myself.
Preserved lemons are not only great for morrocan food but also wonderful to give your food a little bit of a tang.
Here is how you can make them.
Step 1: What You Need
Here is what you need:
- organic lemons
- a knife
- a glas container that seals properly
- wooden skewers
How much you need depends on how much you want to make. As a rule of thumb you need about 2-3 tbs of salt for every lemon.
Step 2: Cut the Endings
First you have to wash your lemons. Because you will be using mostly the skin you want it to be really clean.
Now cut off both of the endings. Make sure that you don´t cut into the inner yellow bit, but if you do it´s not the end of the world.
Step 3: Not All the Way Quartered Lemon
In the next step the lemons have to be quartered but not all the way through. I used two wooden spoons as a cutting guard that I don´t accidentally cut through the whole lemon. Just lay them parallel next to the lemon and as you cut you leave about 1 1/2 cm / 0.5 inches at the bottom of the lemon. The bottom in this case is the part that used to be the flatter part of the lemon.
Step 4: Stuff It
Open up the lemons a bit and fill them up with salt. You need at least one tablespoon, depending on the size of your lemon. It might seem like a lot but trust me, to preserve them you need that much salt.
After you filled the lemons with salt you have to stack them into the glass. Add another tablespoon of salt into the jar for each lemon you put in.
Step 5: Squish It
Press the lemons down on each other so that they realese their juice and are submerged in their own liquid.
I didn´t have enough lemon juice from just the lemons that where in the jar so I added the juice of one more lemon.
Make sure the lemons are fully submerged in the juice. This is really important that no mold forms.
This was the moment I realized my jar was way to big for four lemons and I got another one.
Step 6: Lifehack
Because my lemons didn´t stay submerged I came up with this construction. I just took two wooden skewers, cut them the right size and pushed them down into the rim of the jar. Depending on the width of your jar you might need more skewers.
Let the lemons sit for at least 3 weeks in a dark spot before you consume them. After that they are good for a few months. You can store the preseved lemons in the fridge or in a dark pantry.
Don´t eat them if you see mold or it smells silly!
Step 7: Preserved Lemons
There you go - Preserved Lemons -
I cut the skin really fine and add them to basically everything :) They are great in salad dressings, curries, dips, yoghurt, popcorn and of cause tagines.
Some people use the inner part as well, but I find them to be too salty.
What do you add preserved lemons to? Let me know in the comment section.
Have a lovely day!