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Suvir Saran

Preserved Lemons

290 posts in this topic

Then there is the "orange tree" on the power line easement that my sister found a couple of years ago. Actually, these things look like an orange key lime. I have seen something like them once on an Emeril special in Hawaii and they called them "Hawaiian limes". I have no idea if they are the same thing. They just looked alike. They are very tart, seedy and have a strong orangy flavor. They made dynamite marmalade. We have no idea what they actually are and even less of a clue as to what that tree is doing growing in that easement. We may go check it out tomorrow. If we do I will get some pictures and finally figure out how to post those here.

Let us proceed...

Fifi,

Do they look like this? I have several of these and have never done much with them besides eat them off of the tree and use them for garnishes in drinks and on plates as they are VERY tart, but pretty delicious.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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In recent citrus hunting, I found myself in possession of a handful of Limequats (xbreed of lime and kumquat, apparently)... and the thought of making candied citrus came to mind... yummy. Make sugar syrup, cook it to about 240F, drop in halved limequats, and allow to boil for a little while and cool.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Brooks, that looks close. We made an excursion today and raided the tree. Good thing. If we had waited any longer, they would have been too ripe. I took some pictures for the purpose of posting them here and maybe finding someone at A&M that might be of help. I would post them now but I am too tired at this point. We had to process a styrofoam cooler full of the little bastards because they wouldn't wait. We put up three pints in juice and salt using the Patricia Wells method. Then deseeded and juiced the rest for marmalade and whatever else we might think of. They are very sour, at least lemon/lime sour and VERY aromatic. They scream ORANGE with an overtone of tangerine maybe. That could be transferrence on my part because the skin structure reminds me of tangerine. The skin is thin with very little pith and loosely attached to the flesh, but not "baggy" like the skin of a tangerine. If you peel one, the little sections remind you of a tangerine. This is a volunteer tree on an easement and it is BIG so it must be freeze resistant. There is nothing in its vicinity that would suggest a local microclimate.

Now that I have figured out that I can set my camera to "eGullet size" I will also snap pictures of my lemons and key limes and post those, too.

cdh... What the heck is a limequat and where did you find it? I never heard of such a thing.

rgruby... With that much acid and salt, botulism is not a problem. There are some methods that cure lemons with a more dry method. I don't know much about that. Maybe Paula Wolfert will stop by and enlighten us.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Limequats are little tiny lime shaped things that you could, if you wanted to, eat whole like a kumquat. They're pretty tart, with just a hint of bitterness. I love candied citrus, and these things seemed like an ideal candidate for the process.

As to where they're from, I got them in the exotic fruit aisle of the Wegmans in Allentown, PA. Central Market has expanded to Houston, no? They'd be your best shot at getting some that I can think of.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Our Central Market is "inside the loop" but I was going to make an excursion there to look for Seville oranges. I was going to do that today but we spent too much time raiding the mystery orange tree. I will look for them. I may also try Fiesta. :biggrin:

One thing we did with the mystery oranges last year was make flavored vodka. Limequats might be good that way too.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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rgruby, I imagine that your lemons are fine, with all that salt and acidity. If you see no mold, I would not worry. You will not get botulism from the exposed parts -- botulism is anaerobic, growing in the absense of oxygen. For example, garlic cloves submerged in oil and held at room temperature would be a great danger.

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Well... fifi is finally in the picture business.

This is the mystery "orange" tree.

i2506.jpg

A little closer look.

i2507.jpg

Some of the little buggers with some leaves. Notice the one in the lower right where some of the peel has come off. That is what I mean by it looking tangerine-like.

i2508.jpg

This is what they look like when sliced.

i2510.jpg

These are my current preserving efforts. The lemons have been going for about two weeks and are starting to develop. The key limes have only been about three days. They are starting to turn more of an army green (can't really tell because of the green jar) but they smell wonderful. The little mystery oranges were just started last night.

i2509.jpg


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Your mystery plant looks very much like Citrofortunella microcarpa, which in Australia would be called a 'Kumquat' (although a Kumquat is really Fortunella japonica). It isn't quite a citrus, but very close. Citrofortunella microcarpa = Calamondin Orange.

Information on the Kumquat


Edited by Adam Balic (log)

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After Mayhaw Man's post, I am leaning toward a Calamondin. These things taste nothing like a kumquat and I have grown those. So what in the hell is it doing here? And, according to what I read about Calamondins, this thing should have frozen years ago, or at least frozen back to the point that it wouldn't be this tree thing. I am guessing at the age but it should be at least old enough to have gone through some prolonged periods in the low 20s F.

Adam, thanks for the genus/species information.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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The are a number of different types of kumquat, the round type is most common in Australian gardens (they have very tender thin skins), the more tough, but sweeter elongated for is more commonly sold (the fruit that is) in the UK, but I think your plant is the Calamondin/Panama "Orange". Why you have it growing = you are very lucky. They all make killer marmalade.

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Definitely killer marmalade. We are out of the batch my sister made last year. That was the best I have ever had. When you opened the jar, the aroma hit you in the face.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Fifi,

That looks like a giant version of the ones that you see along the lower gulf coast (where it really never freezes for more than a couple of hours, if at all), the Calomondin variety. They also grow really well as a partial indoor ornamental/fruit.

Lucky you, that thing is beautiful.


Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Lucky you indeed. Beautiful pictures. Any chance of getting a handful of seeds from you? If the things are calamondins, then they're cold hardy up to and including the DC area... was surprised to see a citrus growing in the Dumbarton Oaks gardens, and looked it up, and it was some variety of calamondin. Spikey, though. Is your tree full of thorns?

All this means that I can at least get one going quite well in a large pot and only bring it indoors for December through February.

And here is a snapshot of a handful of my candied limequats. Tiny little things, but soooooooo yummy. i2519.jpg


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Well, I am not lucky. The easement is lucky. This is nowhere near where I live. It was spotted while driving by and took a bit of a search to figure out how to actually get to it. I am now christening the tree my Confusing Calamondin. :biggrin:

cdh... Those limequats look really cute. I am going to try candying some if I can find them. Any particular tricks to making them come out so pretty? PM me and I will be sure to tell my sister not to cook all of the seeds.

BTW... For purposes of this thread, I am going to extend the meaning of "preserving" in the title past the traditonal use of the word in mediterranean cuisine. We can discuss candying, marmalades, whatever preserves citrus. Where did I hear or see something the other day about using dried tangerine skin in an oriental dish. I looked for it at my Hong Kong Market and couldn't find any so I figure I will have to dry my own. Does anyone know about that?


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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No real trick to the candied limequats, I don't think.

My procedure was:

Put 2 cups sugar and and 1 cup water in pan, and heat until the sugar dissolves into the water.

Wash the limequats, halve them, and throw them into the syrup.

Bring the syrup up to boiling.

Remove the limequats and heat the syrup to 240F.

Add a little tiny bit of cream of tartar.

Throw the limequats in and turn the heat off after about 5 minutes.

Fish the limequats out and spread out on parchment paper.

Sprinkle lots of sugar all over them and toss them around so that they're evenly coated. Voila!

I then candied some ginger in syrup, and now have candied limequats, candied ginger, and syrup that makes a mighty nice ginger ale when you mix it up with some seltzer and a squeeze of lemon juice.


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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the next time you're able to, try making some whole lemon or lime pickles, Indian style. Similar recipe to that of preserved lemons, but with a great deal less salt and many more spices in varying proportions.

Soba

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Oh my... Soba just opened up a whole new can of lemons. :biggrin:

That really sounds good. I will be looking for some of those recipes.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I apologize. I forgot to answer about the thorns on the tree. On the outer parts of the limbs, where the oranges are, the thorns are small but sharp, less than 1/8 inch. As you go inward toward the woodier parts of the limb, the thorns get a lot larger and more vicious. My sister, who did most of the picking while I was taking the research pictures, :biggrin: is complaining of coming into contact with a nest of crazed civet cats. She was complaining the whole time of the stinging of her wounds while we were processing the things. Oh dear... the torment... the drama... :laugh: I told her that such a sacrifice for marmalade was worth it. I don't think she bought it. Her reaction was pretty much :raz: .


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I recently bought some Meyer lemons and asked a chef here in town what I should do with the excess. He suggested preserving them, and explained how to do it. I also consulted Paula Wolfert's excellent Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco. Both said to cover the lemons with salt.

I covered them completely, but pretty quickly everything settled to the bottom. I've been shaking the jar once a day to redistribute the salt in the lemon juice, but even still some of the lemon sticks out above the lemon juice, and the salt all settles to the bottom.

Are these going to turn out right? If not, what should I have done different?

lemons.jpg


Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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I made a couple of jars last summer and they look exactly like yours. So much salt that it won't dissolve and at this point, after they got forgotten behind the bread box for months, I won't eat them. Way too scary looking. I looked at a bunch of recipes before I made them and they varied wildly in the amount of salt to use. Don't know what's a happy medium on the salt.

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You are ok. Check out this thread. I included some pictures. It takes a few days for it to all start coming together. When they are "finished" I will be taking some pictures of the slices on a white plate that will hopefully capture the viscosity of the juice. I can't tell if you put a sheet of saran between your jar lid and the liquid. Highly recommended. I use the glass lidded jars (my sister didn't have any and I did the calamondins over there) and just try to remember to turn them upside down every day or so.

edit to add: I updated with pictures here.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I use 1 tablespoon sea or coarse salt for each lemon plus 1 for the jar. -

I'm sure it will turn out okay as long as you really wash each lemon well before using it.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Update on the lemons and limes. They should probably go a couple more weeks at room temperature. I don't know if you can tell but the lime liquid is thicker than the lemon. It is almost jelly like. The lemon is developing a nice viscous liquid.

i2797.jpg

The mystery oranges (calamondins) are not quite as far along. There is still a little salt at the bottom of the jar that is recrystalizing and dropping out. I am assuming it is salt. I don't have a microscope to get a good look at the crystal structure. I suppose it could be some other salt like a citrate.

i2798.jpg

My normal procedure is to put these in the refrigerator after they are "done". Now I am wondering why. With all of the salt and acid they sure aren't going to spoil.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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You are ok. Check out this thread. I included some pictures. It takes a few days for it to all start coming together. When they are "finished" I will be taking some pictures of the slices on a white plate that will hopefully capture the viscosity of the juice. I can't tell if you put a sheet of saran between your jar lid and the liquid. Highly recommended. I use the glass lidded jars (my sister didn't have any and I did the calamondins over there) and just try to remember to turn them upside down every day or so.

edit to add: I updated with pictures here.

Hey fifi, your link goes to 'incrediby strange cravings' but I think you meant this link. No?

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ARG! You are right. I will fix it. Thanks. I have too many eGullet windows open. :blush:

edit to add: I fixed it in the original but the quote is still wrong and I can't fix that. Oh well.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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