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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Preserved Lemon

I am at my parents and my Dad harvested all the Meyer lemons off the tree ahead of the next freeze. Instead of just juicing everything for later use, I decided to make some preserved lemons. I've got a couple of Moroccan chicken recipes that call for it as well as an lemon ice cream that calls for finely chopped preserved lemon. Of course, the salty lemony brine kicks a Bloody Mary up a notch, too.

Preserved Lemons

 Meyer lemons, scrubbed and dried well
 cup kosher salt
1 1/2
 cups fresh lemon juice from 8 lemons

Cut each lemon lengthwise into quarters, stopping 1 inch from bottom, so lemons stay intact at base.

Hold 1 lemon over a bowl and pour 1-3 tablespoons of salt into cavity of lemon, depending on the size of the lemon. Gently squeeze lemon, rubbing cut surfaces together. Place lemon in 1-quart glass Mason jar. Repeat with remaining lemons and salt. Add accumulated salt from bowl to jar.

Pour lemon juice into jar so lemons are submerged. Cover jar tightly with lid, shake, and refrigerate, shaking jar once per day to redistribute salt and juice for first 4 days. Let lemons cure in refrigerator until glossy and softened, 4 to 6 weeks.

When ready to use, cut off desired amount of preserved lemon. Using knife, remove pulp and white pith from rind. Slice, chop, or mince rind as desired. (For uncooked applications, rinse lemons to remove excess salt before using.)

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