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Preserved Lemons


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#211 egale

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:29 PM


On a slightly different topic, I've found that the type of salt used determines how thick the brine eventually gets. I had preserved some lemons with table-grind sea salt and the brine got very thick indeed. I made another batch using coarse sea salt and the brine still got thick, but not nearly as thick as the batch made with table-grind salt.

I wonder why this is?

If you measured by volume this would explain it.

Because of gaps left between the granules of coarsely ground salt, it will contain less weight of salt than the same sized container of finely ground salt. Less weight = less dense brine.

Another very good reason for moving to weighing with scales rather than measuring with cups.



I did indeed measure by volume, so your explanation is spot-on. Thanks.

But now I am wondering why salt makes the brine thick at all....

#212 Lapin d'Argent

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:56 PM

Certainly my gin and tonic does.


Have you ever tried using the lemon brine? I've been wondering about a dash in a gin Martini with old-skool Noilly Prat....

I haven't...I figured it would be more briny than lemony. I'd be more inclined to muddle the pulp. But feel free to take one for the team.

I've been using them in place of lime in guacamole lately, which has been a great way to introduce people to them with practically no prep time!


Brilliant! Thanks for that idea!

I cut the segments, stripped of the pulp, into slivers and add to antipasti plates. Excellent rolled in a slice of prosciutto.


Another great idea -- thank you Andie!

#213 OliverB

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 01:36 PM

reading this thread made me put up my own today, had to squeeze some 6 or so extras to fill the glass, now we'll see what happens, 30 days and counting!
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#214 Lapin d'Argent

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 04:09 PM

Just had another idea -- I bet some finely minced preserved lemon peel would be perfect in shortbread.

#215 nakji

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 06:44 AM

Bittman's got a video up today on the New York Times for a "Quick pickle" lemon preserve. Basically it calls for chopping up some lemons, and tossing them in a 2:1 ratio of sugar and salt, and then keeping them in a bottle; presumably in the fridge.

I had some lemons that were hopelessly dry but fresh, and since I lack the counter space and patience to make real preserved lemons, I thought I'd give his method a try. I made a jar in the early afternoon, and had some ready for our roast chicken dinner at 6. They were..okay. Not nearly as bitter as I expected they would be. I'm going to see if they get any softer over the next couple of days and report back.

#216 chefzadi

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 04:32 PM

the brine is much too salty to add to a cocktail.
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#217 nonblonde007

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 09:19 AM

Yesterday, I finished off my last two jars of lemons and put up two more. I am so reluctant to toss that wonderful brine, is there any use for it? Perhaps for marinating chicken or fish or something, or is it too salty to be of any use on it's own?
Brenda



I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

#218 Peterh

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 11:11 AM

Yesterday, I finished off my last two jars of lemons and put up two more. I am so reluctant to toss that wonderful brine, is there any use for it? Perhaps for marinating chicken or fish or something, or is it too salty to be of any use on it's own?


Use it to make your next batch!

#219 jaynesb

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:58 PM

You could some of the brine to a salad dressing or vinaigrette. It really brightens bean salads, especially if you are adding chopped up preserved lemon anyway.

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#220 nonblonde007

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 02:48 PM

Thank you. I would add it to the new batch, but the jars are too full already! The vinaigrette idea is a great one as I always add lemon juice and salt to them anyway.
Brenda



I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

#221 PopsicleToze

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 03:47 PM

Just opened up egullet and found this terrific thread. I just started my first batch of preserved lemons yesterday using Epicurious' recipe and 5-day method. They're for use later this week when I make couscous with butternut squash and preserved lemon.

After reading this thread, I'm going back to the farmers market tomorrow for more lemons to start a batch using PW's 30-day method.

My jar after 1 day...

Preserved Lemons Jan-11.jpg


Rhonda

#222 sabg

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:45 AM

i am making a new batch of lemons...last time i know added a few things...maybe star anise, cardomon, cloves ?? and cant find the recipe...found a bunch online and they all have only salt...anybody make them with a few additions ? they are so good..i have have eaten about 10 with just a delish vodka on the rox

#223 mkayahara

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:04 AM

Following Paula Wolfert, I usually add coriander seeds, cloves, a bay leaf and a cinnamon stick. Peppercorns are good, too. Basically any spices should work!
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#224 chefzadi

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:45 AM

i also use preserved lemons and olives for roast chicken.
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#225 sazji

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:27 PM

Re the thickening - I think it's actually the result of the pectin in the peel rather than the salt thickening. Salt doesn't thicken like sugar would when its concentrated (think of the Dead Sea or the Great Salt Lake - it's not a lake of viscous goo!) The reason the lemon scent becomes so intense in preserved lemons is that the salt draws the liquids out of the cells. Citrus peel, especially the white part, has lots of pectin in it. So I'd imagine (though I haven't done empirical research) is that if you have a thicker peel with more pith, you might get thicker brine over time.

As for using the brine - I'd think it would be wonderful to use in combination with regular salt for brining a chicken or turkey before roasting. Anyone tried it? Thanksgiving is upon us!
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#226 scubadoo97

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 04:52 AM

After making my first batch I can say with certainty that the thickening is due to pectin.

Use in a brine sounds interesting. Will have to try that soon

#227 threestars

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:26 AM

I am starting to do that as well. Lately, I like my water with lemon squeezed into it. :)

#228 robirdstx

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 12:15 PM

I put up my first batch of preserved meyer lemons today. The fruit is from the tree I purchased last March when I was doing my eG foodblog. I followed Paula Wolfert's 30 day recipe, with one exception. My lemons were so big (almost tennis ball size) they wouldn't fit into the mouth of the jar, so I cut all the way through to the bottom of the fruit and quartered them.

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I've never tasted preserved lemons before, so am trying to be patient while I wait for them to be ready.

#229 nonblonde007

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:28 PM

Wow, I opened a jar of my lemons, about 6 months old, and they are in Jell! All of the liquid surrounding the lemons is a very thick jell. Any ideas? I have done many jars and this is a first for me.
Brenda



I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

#230 patrickamory

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:04 PM

From my first batch! They turned out good. I'm going to use them to make an adaptation of this recipe.

lemons.jpg

#231 andiesenji

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:47 PM

Wow, I opened a jar of my lemons, about 6 months old, and they are in Jell! All of the liquid surrounding the lemons is a very thick jell. Any ideas? I have done many jars and this is a first for me.



I've had that happen a few times. It never seems to have much effect on the lemons themselves, or the part that I use.
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#232 andiesenji

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:50 PM

From my first batch! They turned out good. I'm going to use them to make an adaptation of this recipe.

lemons.jpg



They look lovely.


The Seville oranges I put up more than a month ago are still not where lemons usually are at this stage so I'm going to put them in the back of the fridge and check them again in another month.
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#233 nonblonde007

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 06:37 PM

Thank you Andi! I was worried about using them, no more. :biggrin:
Brenda



I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

#234 andiesenji

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:01 PM

Thank you Andi! I was worried about using them, no more. :biggrin:


As long as the liquid doesn't smell like furniture polish, you are good to go.
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#235 patrickamory

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 12:09 PM


Thank you Andi! I was worried about using them, no more. :biggrin:


As long as the liquid doesn't smell like furniture polish, you are good to go.


I believe someone asked in another thread, "But what if your furniture polish smells like lemon?" :laugh:

Mine smelled lemony but not "off". They were definitely fine.

#236 andiesenji

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:51 PM



Thank you Andi! I was worried about using them, no more. :biggrin:


As long as the liquid doesn't smell like furniture polish, you are good to go.


I believe someone asked in another thread, "But what if your furniture polish smells like lemon?" :laugh:

Mine smelled lemony but not "off". They were definitely fine.



I'm talking about the smell you get with "Pledge" and "Murphy's Oil Soap" - there is a distinct difference.
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#237 patrickamory

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 07:53 PM

Ah, got it. Thanks andie.

#238 hangingfire

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 11:49 AM

Hi everyone; board newbie here. Also lemon preservation newbie concerned about food safety. I've read the rest of the posts but may have missed something; apologies if so.

I just took down my first batch of lemons, which has been quietly sitting on the kitchen shelf for about five weeks total. I opened it up and there was a slight whoosh of escaping air—not like the jar tried to explode or anything, but there was definitely pressure being released. The lemons smell fine and have no mold. Should I be worried? It's the air pressure release that has me a bit concerned. I know that it'd be pretty difficult for most bacteria to survive that much salt and acid, but—thought I'd ask if anyone had a similar experience or knew if this was a warning sign. Thanks!

#239 patrickamory

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:17 PM

I've eaten most of my first batch and I don't seem to have contracted anything. My guess is you're fine.

#240 liuzhou

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 05:36 PM

Here is a link to a Chinese ethnic minority version of preserved lemons which I am still using. They have been preserved for 15 years now. Had some yesterday.