Monday, November 16, 2009

Morrocan Preserved Lemons

I will be posting a Morrocan recipe that needs these in about 3 weeks, so make these now (or not), but you will be sooooorry if you don't! For an authentic Moroccan dish there is no alternative to the delicious soft pickled lemon flavor. With a little forward planning have your own pickled lemons. It’s an easy and satisfying job preserving your own. The time consuming part is the wait after preserving them until they can be used.

You will need:
5-6 Lemons - to fit a large clear jar
½ kg coarse salt
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Bay leaves
¼ cup olive oil
Bottled water - to fill the jar

1. Wash the lemons and cut them into quarters from the pointed end up to within 2cm of the stalk end. Gently open them without breaking them apart, remove any visible pips, pack them with salt and then:
2. Put 1 tablespoon salt into the large sterilized clear jar.
3. Put in the lemons and press them down, adding more salt and spices between the layers. Push the lemons down firmly to release some of the juice and to make room for the other lemons. Fill the jar up with spring water, leaving enough space for the olive oil.
4. Cover the top with oil and seal the jar. The oil is to seal and protect the lemons from contact with the air.
5. Leave the lemons in a cool dry and dark place for 4-6 weeks before using.

The lemons don’t need to be refrigerated after opening, but it’s a good idea to put another thin layer of oil on the top to keep the air out. Between the acidity of the lemon juice and all the salt, nothing scary is going to grow in there, so you don’t even have to properly seal the jars, but best to be safe. They can be kept for up to a year.

Thanks to bbcgoodfoods for the picture. my jar looks horrible.

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