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Q&A - Meyer Lemon Emergency

A friend emailed: "Meyer lemon tree in the front yard is drooping with fruit. Need recipe. Emergency. I can always can some more marmalade, but could use some fresh inspiration. Can I candy Meyer lemons?"

Cam says: someone gave us a jar of preserved lemons for Christmas and told me that they make a jazzy addition to lamb dishes or a tasty companion to couscous. Here's the recipe she gave me...

How to Make Preserved Lemons
Ingredients
  • 8-10 Meyer lemons*, scrubbed very clean


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt, more if neededExtra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
    Sterilized quart canning jar

* 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.

Method
1. Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.
2. One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwize, 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.
3. Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.
4. 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 a couple tablespoons of salt.
5. Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down ocassionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down ocassionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.
6. 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.
7. 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.

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