In my part of the country Meyer Lemons are prolific during the late winter months. These fragrant and sweet lemons are to California what Key limes are to Florida. At this time of year the lemons on my tree are at peak of ripeness and consequently they are perfect for preserving in salt for use during the remainder of the year. The lemons that I do not cure in salt, I zest and juice for freezing.
Preserved lemons are a vibrant addition to any dish or sauce, not to mention that preserving foods is a good way to help with food cost and make use of some citrus that might be leftover from an event or bout of over ordering.
This recipe by Chef Eric Ripert turns out to be the simplest and most
straight forward was to cure Meyer Lemons that I have found. Even after a year
of curing the lemons tend to hold their flavor and brilliant color.
Kosher Salt 3 cups
Meyer Lemons 6
Ball Jar 1
quart, with tight fitting lid
Place the canning jar and the lid in a pot of boiling water to
sterilize them. Dry on rack, upside down.
Pour a layer of salt into the bottom of the jar. Cut 1 inch off one end
of a lemon, then quarter the lemon, starting at the cut end, but leaving the
uncut end intact. Open the lemon over a bowl and pour salt inside of the lemon.
Place the lemon in the bottom of the jar. Continue with the remaining lemons
(use the remaining salt and the salt that falls into the bowl), packing them
into the jar and covering each layer of lemons with salt. Seal the jar and
The lemons can be used
after 1 month, but they are best after 3 months and will keep for up to a year.
To use the confit, cut
the lemon quarters apart. Cut away all the flesh from the rind; discard the
flesh. Us as directed in the recipe, or blanch briefly, dice or julienne, and
add to salads, stews and grain dishes.