I adore preserved lemons and Paulie adds them to many things such as tagine’s, salads, couscous and many more. They are salty and sour but add so much flavour. The reason I wanted to have a go was because a) I love them and b) they are so expensive in our supermarket they are about a £1 a lemon. I got my entire bag of 5 for that price and the salt! They take a month to preserve. I thought I would do a small batch as it is my first go, but if they turn out like the one’s I have tried (or better hopefully) it will be worth every day and I will do a bigger batch next time!
- 5 unwaxed lemon’s
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick (broken into 3-4 pieces)
- 1/2 tsp whole allspice
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp whole coriander
- Steralise your Jar ready for filling (oven, dishwasher or boiling water method)
- Working over a medium bowl, slit the lemons in 4 equal cuts, starting about 1/2 inch below the stem and ending about 1/2 inch above the base. Cut through the skin, stopping at the center of the lemon(see below picture). Squeeze each lemon gently from top to bottom so the slits pop open, then sprinkle the interior with 1 heaped tablespoon of your salt, rubbing it in and making sure the salt gets into the center. Let any excess salt or lemon juice fall into the bowl.
- Add the remaining salt and the spices to the bowl and stir to combine. Drop some of the salt-spice mixture into your sterilised jar and add the lemons one at a time, compacting each with a wooden spoon until it releases its juice and is packed very tightly. Alternate layers of the salt-spice mixture and lemons, adding all of the mixture and stopping when you reach the shoulder of the jar. Seal the jar and place it in a warm, bright spot.
- Once a day for the first week, shake the jar and carefully open it over the sink to let out any excess gas. After the first week, the fermentation will slow and you’ll only need to shake and “burp” the jar once every 7 days. After about a month, the liquid will clear and the lemons will be ready to use.