Monday, November 21, 2011

Meyer Lemon Cured Preserves

These should be called magic lemons.  I received them as a gift from my dear friend, Vicki, a while back and I ran out because I used them in almost everything.  They perked up any dish that was savory (meats, fish, pasta, sandwiches, sauces, potatoes, tapenade, you name it).  They are the best condiment ever especially if you want to add a lot of great, lemony flavor to a dish.  The lemon infused oil from this recipe is also very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.  

Preserved lemons are a Moroccan delicacy and really expensive if you buy them at a specialty store (usually between $7 to $15) so I wanted to share this recipe from my friend.  I bought all my beautiful, fresh meyer lemons from my neighborhood farmers market.  They have just begun their growing season in California. 


Makes 8 lemons

8 organic meyer lemons (3 to 4 ounces each), scrubbed
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Boil a large pot of water.  Blanch the lemons in the boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds.  Cool the lemons in a big bowl of cold water.  Cut off the ends of the lemons (about 1/2 inch) and slice into 1/8-inch rounds.  Remove the seeds as you go.  

Combine the sugar and salt in a large bowl.

With sterilized mason jars, scoop the sugar mixture into the bottom of the jars so it is generously covered with the mixture.  Place a slice of lemon into the jar and cover it completely with sugar mixture.  Keep on alternating lemon slices and the sugar mixture until it fills the jar.  Push down the slices to make room for more lemon slices as you go.   Fill the jars and top with olive oil (I used about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil per 1 pint jar).

Refrigerate for at least 2 weeks to 1 month before eating.  The preserves should be soft.  Remove any excess sugar and salt before using.  I like to mince them before I put them into a dish. These lemons should last up to a year or longer in the fridge. 

Note:  It is better to use too much of the sugar mixture instead of not enough because mold can grow on the exposed areas.  



I used a clean toothbrush to scrub down my precious meyer lemons and I used the oven method to sterilize the mason jars.  For the oven method, preheat your oven to 250 degrees F and heat your jars and lids for at least 15 minutes.  Fill the jars once they have cooled.   For me, it took about 3 lemons to fill a pint jar.  I like using the wide mouth mason jars for these lemons.  They fit perfectly in there.


For extra measure, I quickly blanched the scrubbed lemons in boiling water to kill off any bacteria remaining on the lemons.


Use a sharp knife to cut the lemons into thin slices.  You don't have to be perfect.  A mandoline would be great for a task like this.

 

Now is the waiting period.  Preserved lemons remind me of kimchi.  It tastes better if you let them sit for a while.  Some people let them sit on the counter but I prefer to let them the preserves sit in the refrigerator. In a couple days, I plan on giving each jar a shake so the sugar and salt evenly distribute throughout the jar.  These make the perfect gifts so I'm planning to pass them on to friends.  Since I originally got these as a gift so now I'm passing it on and sharing the love!  These will be perfect just in time for Christmas cooking.

15 comments:

Mal said...

The jars look so lovely with the thinly sliced lemon stacks!

http://chicgeekery.blogspot.com/

leila brewster photography said...

dude, monica! this looks so tasty!! i LOVE your recipes and your photos!! :)

{Oh Sweet Escape} said...

thanks mal! :)

thanks for stopping by leila! i can't wait to get our CD in the mail! that is the first thing i'm gonna do when i get home today.... check the mail.

Lindsay [rookie's nest] said...

oh my gosh...this looks SOO amazing that I'd almost do it just to look at them! great recipe!

Lindsay [rookie's nest] said...

p.s. new follower :) great blog!

Ashley said...

Great pictures! Makes me want to try this recipe right away! I love mason jars.

hello, Friday said...

Love how you packaged them. Would make a super cool house warming gift. xoxo
http://hellofridaybypaik.blogspot.com/

Misherr said...

Omg can I collect one pls :p

{Oh Sweet Escape} said...

thanks for all the sweet comments! it made my day!

misherr, i will send you a jar for christmas :)

Johanna said...

This is really fantastic! I think meyer lemons is on my top 5 scent list. Awesome~

Land of Nams said...

monica, you have great light in your kitchen! beautiful pics.

kyleen said...

Your blog is amazing! The pictures, the layout--everything looks so professional.

I love how neatly stacked all those layers of lemon are. Almost too pretty to eat!

Maria @ Orchard Bloom said...

the lemons look so beautiful in the jars!

vanillalemonade.com said...

The jars look so cute- what a perfect gift!

Elizabeth said...

I think I'm going to make this to give as presents at Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

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