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Preserved Lemons


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#241 andiesenji

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 11:14 AM

The middle eastern store in which I shop has a big "pickle jar" (about 3 gallons) in which they have preserved lemons. The ones on the top, ready for use are in a plastic basket which occupies the top half of the container.
They lift it out and add new lemons and more salt to the bottom and the basket is replaced which pushes the new lemons to the bottom.
I think this is a very clever method of keeping a large batch (they sell a lot) of preserved lemons going. The lady told me that they dump the brine and replenish the salt with a new batch of lemons in the bottom about every six months. The preserved lemons look perfect on the outside, the insides look the same as the ones I have made at home and I have bought some and used them.
They taste exactly the same.
She tells me they have only refrigerated the batch when they close the store for their annual vacation when they put everything even remotely perishable in their walk-in fridge, even the stuff in the display fridges, because they have a backup generator for the walk-in in case of a power failure.
She says that people "back home" don't usually have fridges and the stores that sell stuff like this have limited fridge space so "preserving" means not having to refrigerate usually perishable items for use all year.
She mentioned that "back home" they preserve the grape leaves essentially the same way and they are never refrigerated.

Edited by andiesenji, 25 August 2012 - 11:15 AM.

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#242 Franci

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:24 PM

I'm almost out of preserved lemons, batch from June 2011. So I started a new jar yesterday following P. Wolfert 30 days recipe. I had a lot of peels, from the lemons I squeezed to fill my new jar.
I think I read here or somewhere else on the board that some people use the old pickling liquid to start a new batch. I decided against it but I still saved a small jar of the liquid...so it came natural to me to dump all the peels I had from squeezing the lemons in the old pickling liquid.
Do you think it's a bad idea? Should I add more salt?

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#243 patrickamory

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:35 PM

I think I remember Paula saying not to reuse the old liquid...

#244 Franci

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 11:33 PM

Thank you, Patrick! I'll toss it, better safe.

#245 vimaladevi

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 09:35 PM

Here's the recipe I use for preserving or pickling lemons...

http://www.paajaka.c...mon-pickle.html


Its says 10 days here, but I usually let it go for more like a month.
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#246 Jmahl

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:36 PM

Office Party 2012 001.JPG Lemon Picking 2012 005.JPG

Since this year our one lemon tree gave us hundreds of beautiful lemons we have put up this batch of preserved lemons, made lemon marmalade, lemoncillo, gave away lots of them and are using lemons on everything. It is a blessing.
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#247 Smithy

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

*bump*

Someplace up-topic, a few people have asked whether there's any use for the brine of the lemons. I use a small amount of brine to add a kick to sauces or vinaigrettes. I also use the pulp in skillet-style dishes (stovetop cookery); the pulp adds flavor and a bit of texture. I don't know why people say to stick with the rind only.

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#248 f00b4r

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:07 PM

For those of you with sous vide equipment you may want to check out this method which turns out preserved lemons in 8 hours start to finish:

http://http://svkitchen.com/?p=614

#249 OliverB

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

I just "found" mine in the back of the fridge, put them up about 2 years ago, never used them, never even opened them. Figured I'll trash them, but tasted a bit, quite good! There's no way anything will grow in that much salt and acid, and it seems they are good indefinitely. Mine are very very soft, but I'm gonna use them soon now. Not sure I'll put up more, since I can buy small jars and don't seem to need them much, but maybe once I use them more...

IMO there's very little danger for food poisoning, if something is bad you most likely will smell it and know it, nothing dangerous I'm aware of can grow in there. It's a simple technique that's been used for thousands of years by people w/o running water or much use of even the word "sanitary" :-)
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#250 scubadoo97

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:12 PM

Like you said very inhospitable environment for bacterial growth. As long as they didn't take up any metallic taste from a Ball jar lid you should be fine

#251 btissame

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:18 AM

You cannot talk about Moroccan cuisine and not to mention preserved lemons in one of its dishes.

This important ingredient of Moroccan cooking, usually used with chicken, seems to have different origins. Some referred it to Jews who have a slightly different procedure for preserving it, which involves the use of olive oil. Others claimed that the Persians brought the lemon to Greece, and their method is simple: Quarter the lemons, salt, and cover in lemon juice.

The method I’m showing you today is used by my mom. It’s very simple and doesn’t require much time to do.

 

DSCN3152.JPG Ingredients

  • 5 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons for each lemon

Preparation

1. Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, put salt inside each lemon, and then reshape the fruit.

2. Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of the jar. Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. Leave some air space before sealing the jar.

3. Let the lemons ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days.

4. To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pulp, if desired — and there is no need to refrigerate after opening. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year.



#252 ElsieD

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:28 AM

I assume that it is 4 tablespoons of SALT per lemon?

#253 btissame

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:36 AM

yes, 4Tbs of salt for each lemon and one at the bottom of the jar. The salt helps the lemon to release its juice. It's an easy way to make preserved lemons.



#254 liuzhou

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 08:36 AM

30 days? My Zhuang Preserved Lemons are almost 17 years old and just coming to perfection.



#255 SobaAddict70

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 09:19 AM

I've never really measured the amount of salt per lemon. I use about 1/2 cup kosher salt and 4-5 lemons per sterilized jar. You'll be putting maybe 1-2 tablespoons salt on the bottom, then add lemons that have been partially slitted (I like to do a cross-hatch at one end and sprinkle salt inside. Add lemons and salt. If you're going to use aromatics like bay leaf and peppercorn, add those too. Repeat until the jar is filled nearly to the brim. Top up with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Seal. Store in cool, dark place for 1 week. Shake the jar every day. Transfer the jar to the fridge after a week, and store for 3 more weeks. Shake the jar each day. Lemons are ready to use after approx. 30 total days.

Edited by SobaAddict70, 09 June 2014 - 09:21 AM.


#256 gfron1

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:20 AM

I do the 30 day version as well (can't wait 17 years to serve my customers).  I add a pinch of saffron and a green cardamom to mine.


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#257 btissame

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 11:26 AM

once you preserve lemons or any vegetable, olives, it goes a long way. but you can start using the preserved lemons after a month, the color is vibrant and the taste is quite fresh. My mom have them preserved for years too. Good idea to use safran and cardamon, I will try it...

 

in my next post, I will do a traditional chicken with preserved lemons.



#258 Naftal

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 10:20 AM

You cannot talk about Moroccan cuisine and not to mention preserved lemons in one of its dishes.
This important ingredient of Moroccan cooking, usually used with chicken, seems to have different origins. Some referred it to Jews who have a slightly different procedure for preserving it, which involves the use of olive oil. Others claimed that the Persians brought the lemon to Greece, and their method is simple: Quarter the lemons, salt, and cover in lemon juice.
The method I’m showing you today is used by my mom. It’s very simple and doesn’t require much time to do.
 
attachicon.gifDSCN3152.JPGIngredients

  • 5 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons for each lemon
Preparation
1. Quarter the lemons from the top to within 1/2 inch of the bottom, put salt inside each lemon, and then reshape the fruit.
2. Place 1 tablespoon salt on the bottom of the jar. Pack in the lemons and push them down, adding more salt. Press the lemons down to release their juices and to make room for the remaining lemons. Leave some air space before sealing the jar.
3. Let the lemons ripen in a warm place, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. Let ripen for 30 days.
4. To use, rinse the lemons, as needed, under running water, removing and discarding the pulp, if desired — and there is no need to refrigerate after opening. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of a year.

I followed your procedure and everything turned out great!!! Thanks

Edited by Naftal, 16 July 2014 - 10:22 AM.

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#259 SobaAddict70

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 05:49 AM

Making preserved limes.

14625246996_05b5780bf0_z.jpg

4 limes, quartered
4 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

After that photo was shot, I waited about a day before transferring it to a larger jar, then added some more limes, salt and lime juice. I was concerned that I hadn't left as much "air space" in the first jar as I needed.

#260 scubadoo97

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 12:28 PM

I've made several jars of preserved lemons as well as limes. I don't measure out the salt any more and just make sure they are well coated inside and out as well as putting a good dose of salt in the bottom of the jar. I haven't noticed much variation in taste or texture