If, like us, you have a glut of fruit and veg from the garden, or you just want to work on your preservation skills, now is a great time of year to start (end of Summer into Autumn). Preserving means you get to keep the delicious in-season produce tasting good into the winter months and make it go further, as well as avoiding any of it going to waste.
We recently found out just how easy these are to make so we have made a few different batches to play around with flavours. For our first go we kept it basic with just lemon and salt but we decided to add some extra flavour to these by adding some fresh thyme. We have just recently started cooking with our first batch and we are so pleased with them! They smell and taste amazing and are probably the lowest maintenance preserve we’ve ever made, so if you are looking for a place to start, this might well be it.
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- 6 lemons
- 1 cup of good quality sea salt
- A few sprigs of herbs e.g Thyme or Rosemary (optional)
- Sterilise your jar by washing it in hot soapy water before putting into a very low oven for a couple of minutes.
- Slice all but one of your lemons by cutting them into quarters but stopping before you cut all the way through (about ½ inch from the bottom). You should be able to move each quarter apart slightly but they should be attached at the base.
- Stuff your lemons with the salt and any herbs you want to add.
- Pack your salt-stuffed lemons into your sterilised jar. Make sure to fill as much space as possible by packing them down and if necessary cut them in half to fill the gaps.
- Juice your last lemon, fill the juiced skins with some salt (about 1 ½ tbsp) and add to the jar, followed by the lemon juice.
- The additional juice, as well as any that has naturally been released from squishing all of your lemons in, should fill up at least half of the jar. If you have more than this, perfect, if you have less, juice another lemon and add the additional juice.
- Leave your lemons to rest, turning the jar to sit upside down every so often if your juice doesn’t reach the top straight away. As the salt draws out the juice the jar will fill with more liquid and you will no longer need to turn the jar.
- Over the next week, monitor the lemons and if you can no longer see any salt, top it up slightly with 1-2 tbsp of salt.
- Store the jar in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
- Your lemons will be ready to use after around 1 month or when the skin becomes soft and the liquid in the jar becomes syrup-like in consistency. Store in the refrigerator once re-opened and you have begun using them.
- In terms of the yield, 1 Cup = 1 jar of lemons
- You will need a large glass jar with a lid
- Preserved lemons have the most amazing smell - not a tip but just something to enjoy!