Sunday, 3 July 2011

Preserved Lemons Moroccan style

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Sterilization time: 30 minutes  

  • 15 X Juicy Lemons (ideally unwaxed)
  • 150gm of table salt
  • Some water
  • 3 Bay Leaves (Optional)
  • 1 X 2 litre jar with tight lid

To sterilize the jar you need to make sure it's spotless.  Wash in hot or boiling water with some washing detergent.  Rinse well.

Place still wet in cold oven and turn on oven to 150C. Leave for 30 minutes.
Remove and let cool down.

Wash lemons in warm water and give skin a good scrub to remove dirt or grit.
If waxed, use hot water.

Prepare your salt in container with teaspoon.

Cut one end of each lemon around 5mm from the base.
Remove any visible pips.

Turn lemon upside down.

Repeat process in opposite direction.  Do not cut all the way through.  Repeat process with remaining lemons.

Fill each lemon cut with one teaspoon of salt.  You can add more if lemons are large.
The salt will extract the juice and also soften the rind.

Place lemons into jar by pushing them hard wedged together.
Apply enough pressure to squeeze out juices.

Add remaining salt.

Add bay leaves.  This is optional but it gives them enhanced flavour for savoury dishes.

Squeeze the remainder of lemons into juice.

Pour juice into jar.

It should roughly fill half the jar.
Fill the remainder of jar with cold water.

Make sure all lemons are covered, seal the jar and store in cool dark place for four to six weeks. Liquid will be cloudy but will clear in 3 to 4 weeks. Turn the jar upside down each day for three weeks to mix salts. Once opened, refrigerate.  Preserved lemons can last up to six months. To use, separate the quarters then rinse lemon in water to remove salt. Discard the pulp and only use the rind.  The flavour is intense and once you start using them, you will never look back.
Joel Mielle

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