Let’s make Preserved Lemons!

Posted by Bill Hettig on 12th Dec 2014

Let’s make Preserved Lemons!

Fermented, Preserved Lemons

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I make preserved lemons in the Perfect Pickler®. I still have them a year later to add to stews and salad dressings.

Pint sized recipe will last for months.

The basics are very simple: 

  • Source organic lemons if possible or lemons without wax
  • Soak in water for 5 minutes, then lightly brush the skins 
  • Trim off both ends
  • Slice down through the lemon until 1/2 inch from base, repeat to form an "X"
  • Use ground, unrefined sea salt and sprinkle generously into the opened X
  • Repeat and load lemons into suitable sized jar
  • Keep packing and pressing down to form a brine
  • When loaded to within 2 inches from the jar lip add a little filtered water if needed to submerge lemons
  • Seal using the Perfect Pickler® directions and ferment for four or more days
  • Remove the kit and seal the jar and refrigerate
  • Ready in only 4 days!

Great to use as flavorings in stews and salad dressings or in place of a squeeze of lemon juice 

This is a type of pickle that isn’t eaten strictly as a pickle, but is made as a condiment or something to flavor a stew or cooked rice, and it’s really quite simple. It’s literally salt and lemons. It’s a good idea to get organic lemons, if you can. You will want to soak them a little bit and then scrub them, dry them and we are ready to go!

The traditional recipe was to actually cut the whole lemon into a deep “X” and open it up and salt but we found it works better with the Perfect Pickler® to just go ahead and cut them into large chunks and then we will more easily salt them.

What we do after that is we are going to salt them generously. It really is without a specific amount of salt. Because it is going to be a condiment, we don’t really have to be precise...it is certainly going to be preserved with the amount of salt that we add.

What I have done here is that I added the sections of lemon, I sprinkled it with salt (it can be generous). This was 4 organic lemons and probably about one Tablespoon of salt. What I have done then is to just go ahead and stir it together and we are going to use the power of pressure for the simple way to do this and that would be to find a bowl slightly smaller than one that you have. Set it on there and then we need a weight. For this particular episode I found an even bigger watering system. If this were full of water it would be very heavy. In about an hours time we will have all the brine that comes out due to the salting. Most of you won’t have that; what you would use instead is a gallon of water - that’s about 8 pounds and with that amount of pressure you will very quickly get a brine.

When it’s done we just go ahead and load the lemons into the jar. With this particular recipe, because preserved lemons are more like a condiment or cooking spice, I am not going to make a quart or a half gallon of it, this amount will last a very long time. So what we really want to do is to continually press the lemon sections down. We want to create a brine and force the brine to show up. We want to preserve the brine that we’ve made. You can see here that, that is now the brine that will preserve the lemons.

What we do with the Perfect Pickler® is we will get enough product, as in this case the lemons, until it is about a half inch from the jar lip. We will put our brine overflow cup in. We’re almost there. You can see that there is still a little bit of brine that we need to come up with and we will do it with the lemons themselves. We now have it if you can see. So from that point we will take the Perfect Pickler® lid, we’ll put in our gasket, as what we want to do here is just to be sure it’s lying in there flat and level. Now we are just going to go down and seal it. Put on our fermentation lock by adding a little bit of tap water till it comes up to the line. This will now allow the gases to escape and none of the outside environment will be able to get back in. The last thing we like to do is to take our magic marker, this is an erasable one, we put today’s date on there or the day that it would be done and that would be 4 days. We would set this in a little bowl and we’re all set!

This is a quick recipe, it’s very simple, for Preserved Lemons. We hope you try it!

Bold, Bright, & Tart! Let’s make Preserved Lemons! from Perfect Pickler on Vimeo.

Watch this recipe on our iTunes station