A wonderful lemon preserve for use in multiple recipes.
A muddler and a large, canning jar is essential to produce this great condiment.
6 Lemons (we use Meyer lemons, but you can use any type of lemon)
Additional Lemons for juice, if needed
8 tablespoons of Coarse Salt (be generous with the salt, so use more if necessary)
Clean the lemons completely using a vegetable scrub brush. Dry the lemons completely.
Cut the stem side of the lemon to remove any piece of the stem that is still on the lemon, and to make a flat bottom to work with.
Turn the lemons over and slice the lemon length-wise downward, stopping about ½ to 1 inch from the bottom of the lemon. Then make another slice, again downward making an “x” on the lemon and leaving about ½ to 1 inch at the bottom of the lemons still intact.
Pack 1 tablespoon of the coarse salt in into each lemon where you made the incisions. Sprinkle a tablespoon of salt at the bottom of a clean large glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Put the lemons into the jar one-by-one and use a muddler to press the lemons very firmly into the jar.
You want to get the juices flowing. Put the lid on tightly and let it sit overnight on the counter. On the second day, use the muddler again to push the lemons down firmly. If the lemons are not completely covered by juice at this point, add additional lemon juice to cover all lemons. Place the lid back on the container and store in the refrigerator. Use the muddler one or two more days to press down the lemons and make sure there is always lemon juice covering all of the lemons.
When the lemons become soft, they are ready to use. The amount of time could vary from a week to a month, depending on the thickness and toughness of the skins of the lemons.
When you are ready to use the preserved lemons, remove a lemon from the liquid. Slice the lemon completely open by cutting it in half. Put the remainder of the lemon that you are not going to be using back into the jar. For the part of the lemon that you are going to use, remove the pulp so you are left with the peel of the lemon. Rinse the peel under water. Slice the lemon peels into thin strips and/or dice the peels; these can be used in many different ways. Many times, I also press the pulp and use the juice for flavoring as well. Be careful because of the salt content. It may not be advisable to add additional salt to a recipe, if you use this juice.
These preserves can be used in many different ways. The preserves can be added to salad dressings, toppings for vegetables, fish, chicken or lamb. The preserved lemons should be stored in the glass jar -- only removing the amount that is needed to cook with at any one time.