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Preserved Lemons


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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.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.

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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 (log)
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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.

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  • 1 month later...

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 (log)

"As life's pleasures go, food is second only to sex.Except for salami and eggs...Now that's better than sex, but only if the salami is thickly sliced"--Alan King (1927-2004)

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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.

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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

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  • 3 months later...

Has anyone ever noticed a difference in the taste of a dish when using preserved meyers vs preserved standard lemons? I usually always preserve meyer lemons and they always taste amazing in the dishes that i cook them with. On a followup batch i had access to small organic typical lemons so i salted them as per Paula Wolferts recipe and left them on the counter for a month. I cooked with the peel of the lemon from this new batch and the flavor was very....absent. Ive cooked the same dish with preserved meyer and it came out with that authentic taste but with the standard lemon, you might as well have not used any lemon at all.

Has anyone else noticed any differences???

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I've noticed a difference in the flavor, but never thought that the 'standard' lemons were flavorless in a dish. However, I've been spoiled: either way, using lemons off the tree. I wonder if your organic lemons (Eurekas or Lisbons, probably) were picked too early. It's just a guess.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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  • 2 weeks later...

Some people dont refrigerate but i always do after ripening the lemons on the kitchen counter for a month. They continue to ripen at a slower rate in the fridge and will last for months. The first time i made them, i didnt refrigerate and they got moldy pretty fast. Every batch afterward, i refrigerate after ripening and the longest ive had them in the fridge before running out was 11 months.

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This might be a stupid question, but I thought the acidity and salt keeps the mold out?

It should. I've heard of stuff growing atop the brine, but as long as the lemons are submerged they shouldn't go moldy. I have, however, had them get powerfully strong - smelling like furniture polish - to the point that I didn't want to use them. That was when I made very large batches that I couldn't use quickly enough. I think they were over a year old by the time I gave up on them.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Im not sure why my 1st batch went moldy. Maybe i didnt add enough salt. I know if it smells like furniture polish they are definitely bad so you did tge right thing by tossing them Smithy. Hassouni to be on the safe side id refrigerate but if youre brave and leave them out, let us know gow it turns out!

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This might be a stupid question, but I thought the acidity and salt keeps the mold out?

It is my understanding from Paula Wolfert, I believe, that it is essential not to introduce anything nasty into the jar. This means always fishing out whatever you need with a pristinely clean implement. I am probably preaching to the choir.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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If they smell deep and lemony, instead of obnoxiously off, they're probably safe - despite the disgusting color :-). I doubt pathogens can grow in that brine. I'd try a bit for taste, and if they tasted all right then I'd go ahead and use them. Note, however, that I'm cooking for healthy people with strong constitutions. If you're in doubt about the health or safety consequences you may have better peace of mind if you just discard them.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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