When I told a couple of friends I made preserved lemons they were all a bit baffled and thought it took me ages to make them. But let me tell you a little secret: it might actually be the easiest thing you’ll ever do. It doesn’t take up much time and it will make a huge difference to your dish!
So let’s get started. You’ll need:
9 unwaxed lemons
180 grams sea salt
10 black peppercorns
3 cinnamon sticks
3 fresh bay leaves
First off, you need to sterilize your jar. Heat your oven to 100 degrees celcius. Remove the rubber seal from the lid and pop it into a bowl of boiling water. Put your jar and lid in the oven for about 20 minutes. When your 20 minutes are up, make sure not to touch the opening. Let the jar cool before adding your lemons.
Now, the lemons. Start by halving 4 of your lemons.
Squeeze the juice of these lemons into a separate bowl.
Next up: cut a deep cross into your other 5 lemons, about three quarters through. Make sure they are still jointed at the bottom.
Open them up a tiny bit and completely stuff them with sea salt. Then push them back together.
Once that’s done, put your lemons into your jar. Add the peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and the rest of your sea salt.
All you have to do now is pour in your set-aside lemon juice and top the whole thing up with water. Put the lid on and make sure it’s sealed tightly.
And yes, it’s meant to look a bit blurry… Store the jar in a dark and cool place and make sure to gently shake it like a polaroid picture every once in a while. Your lemons will be ready for use in a month and I promise you’ll be choosing recipes where preserved lemons are needed. These bad boys pack so much flavour and will give that extra little zing to your dish.
If you can’t be bothered to make them and want to use your lemons for something else, well I’d suggest the following: