How To Preserve Lemons (Ideal Christmas presents)

We are back after escaping for a couple of nights to Glastonbury. Blog post to follow soon on what we did and saw! In the meantime, I am crashed out by a roaring fire. I did manage to do one thing between the car and the sofa though – I preserved a jar of lemons. It only took 10 mins.

It’s now six weeks to Christmas so it’s the perfect time to start making presents. A jar of preserved lemons is a great gift for a foodie friend or relative, particularly if they regularly cook north African cuisine.

I recently found some Kilner jars (brand new) at a charity shop for £1 each. Perfect.

Here’s how I did it.

You need:

12 lemons (unwaxed)
3 star anise
6 peppercorns – mix red and black
2 cardamom pods
2 juniper berries
Lots of sea salt – I used Maldon Salt

This is enough to fill a big jar.

You do:

Wash the lemons while you sterilise the jar. You do this by heating the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4) and letting the jar sit in the heat for about 20 mins. Take it out and allow to cool before you use it.

It’s important to use clean jars as the lemons need about 4 – 6 weeks  to preserve. You don’t want mold growing in that time.

Pack 6 of the lemons with lots of salt. I did this by cutting them into quarters half way down. Use about 3 good pinches (maybe more!) of salt in each and then squeeze the lemons back together before pushing them into the jar one by one. Cover with lemon juice from the other 6 as you go mixing in the spices intermittently. I used the lemons I had squeezed juice from too.

When it’s full, top up with water and seal.

They’ll be ready in 6 – 8 weeks. If you remember, turn them every so often. Store away from direct sunlight.

Feel smug when you cook a tagine with the lemons you preserved or share the love and wrap a bow around them.