Saturday, March 26, 2011

Preserved Lemons

Ok, so lemons were on sale when I went to the grocery store and I bought quite a few.  But what to do with them now? I already did limoncello but I still wanted to try out making preserved lemons.  Yes, I know making preserved lemons is not rocket science, but this month is all about trying new things.  I used a compilation of various techniques and have come up with my own.

Lemons (I preserved 4 lemons, an additional 3 for juice)
Wide mouth Jar large enough to hold your preserved lemons (must have an air tight seal)
Salt (pickling, or I used sea salt)
1.5" Cinnamon stick
1/4 t. Coriander Seeds
6 Peppercorns

1. Wash the lemons really well, dry.  Cut off each end so the juicy flesh is just exposed on each end.
2. Cut each lemon in quarters, making sure to leave 3/4" attached at the base.
3. Make sure jar is clean and dry.  Put a 1/3" layer of salt on the bottom of the jar.  Pour 1T. of salt into each lemon, making sure to get salt in all the cracks.
4. Place lemons in jar, squeezing them in.  Put a layer of salt between each layer of lemons and on top once all the lemons are in the jar.  Add the spices, shake.
5. Shake vigorously a few times a day for the first 2-3 days.  You want to get the juice to cover the lemons.  If after 3 days the juice doesn't cover the lemons add some more fresh lemon juice. Don't be afraid to press on the lemons, squishing them together and down farther into the jar.
6. Refrigerate for 3 weeks, then enjoy!  Make sure to use clean utensils when removing a lemon to prevent contamination.  Will last at least 6 months, and up to a year in the fridge.

Notes: I used sea salt for this recipe and my lemons turned out great.  One thing to be aware of when using sea salt is that it has a tendency to make the liquid slightly cloudy (due to its mineral content).  Sea salt doesn't change the taste at all, its purely aesthetics.
I also used a one quart mason jar as the jar for my lemons, it was just over half full, but over all a perfect size.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


After having tasted Limoncello I knew I had to make it myself, without the awful overly refined cane sugar.  I chose to use organic lemons (got them on sale), and filtered honey (although I'm sure you could use raw honey). You don't need to use expensive vodka, one step above the cheapest brand will do.  Peeling the lemons was a bit tedious because you really want as little of the pith (white part) as possible, but it took me less than 30 minutes to peel 10 lemons so I can't complain.

1 bottle (750ml) Vodka
10 lemons (I used organic)
1 C. Honey
3.5 oz Water

1. Wash lemons thoroughly, pat dry.  Zest lemons, you want the yellow part of the skin, and as little of the white pith underneath as possible (the pith makes it bitter). Put lemon zest into a seal-able container (preferably glass, I used a half gallon mason jar although it was only filled about halfway at the end).

2. Add vodka, honey, and water to the lemon zest.  Seal the container tightly and shake the mixture until the honey is completely dissolved. Allow to infuse in a cool, dark place for 30-40 days.  Shake mixture once a day for the first 4-5 days. Strain mixture, chill the liquid slightly and enjoy!

Notes: If the end product is not sweet enough for you, feel free to add more honey.

Close up of the lemon rinds in the Jar