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How to Make Preserved Lemons

You don’t need to use Meyer lemons, regular lemons will do, it’s just that the milder Meyer lemons work very well for preserving in this way and their thinner peels will be turn tender and ‘preserved’ faster than regular lemons. You’ll want to make sure that the lid of the jar you are using doesn’t have any nicks in the plastic coating and rubber seal on the top. Since the lemon juice is acidic and you will be inverting the jar several times any scratches where there is exposed metal will be degrade and taint your lemons.


4-5 lemons, scrubbed very clean

1/4 cup kosher salt, more if needed

Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed

Sterilized quart pint jar


Place 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar. One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way: Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut I/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base. Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the Iemons. Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with another tablespoon of salt. Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften. To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired. Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months. Note: You can add spices to the lemons for preserving – cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf.

Submitted by Rhonda Rosenbaum, Tucson CSA