When life gives you Meyer Lemons…preserve them!
At my local farmers market this weekend I found these gorgeous, fragrant Meyer Lemons that I just couldn’t resist. Meyer Lemons are a variety mostly available in the winter and spring months. They are a little smaller and have a sweeter flavor than traditional lemon varieties and are considered to be a hybrid of mandarin oranges and regular lemons. Here’s some more in depth information on the differences between traditional and Meyer lemons from The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy’s food blog.
Preserved Lemons are traditionally used in Moroccan cuisine, particularly in Tagines, but there are also many other uses for them. They can be a great addition to any dish that begs for a slightly sweet and salty, bright highlight of flavor. I love using them in salad dressings and marinades to elevate the flavor of whatever I’m making. Preserving lemons is super simple, the hard part is waiting a month to use them! But I assure you it’s well worth the wait.
Ingredients (makes 24 oz)
8-10 Meyer Lemons (you can use more depending on how big of a batch you want to make, but if this is your first time trying preserved lemons, you may want to make a smaller batch to start just to make sure you like the flavor )
4 tbs sea or kosher salt
2 sterilized 12 oz mason jars
1 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
Start by sterilizing your mason jars and lids by placing them in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes-15 minutes. Remove the jars and lids with a clean pair of kitchen tongs and let them air dry on a clean towel. When the jars are dry, fill the bottom of each jar with 2 tbs of either kosher or sea salt.
Next, cut lemons in quarters lengthwise, leaving about a half an inch at the bottom of the lemon so it stays intact. Sprinkle the inside of each lemon with a pinch more salt.
Stuff 4-5 lemons into each mason jar adding the juice from additional lemons (if necessary) to cover them all with juice. Screw the lids on tight, and gently shake the jar back and forth a few times to evenly coat the lemons in juice and salt. Store in a cool dry place for 30 days, shaking your lemons daily (I love saying that).