La Différence

La Différence
A passion for food

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Preserved Lemons

Lemon Chicken Tagine

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Preserved lemons. An essential ingredient for North African & Middle Eastern Cuisine. I also use them in Indian Curries.

I'm almost at the end of this jar. It will keep beautifully in the fridge for ages.

A large 2lb or so sterilised storage jar
I do this by washing in hot soapy water, rinse & place in an oven at 175c for about 10 mins
12 lemons preferably unwaxed.
Cut 6 of them into quarters try not to cut all the way through to keep the lemon whole
Juice the other 6
(you will see from my picture that the lemons are actually cut right through into four pieces, this was only because they were huge, around double the average size)
3 or 4 bay leaves
a few black peppercorns
around 250g/8oz sea salt ( I used coarse but any will do)
Open up the lemon & fill the centre with some salt and place it into the jar, adding the Bay & peppercorns as you go along, continue until they are all done.
Top up with the lemon juice & any remaining salt.
Seal the jar.
Give the jar a shake everyday for around a week so that the salt dissolves.
Store in a cool place out of the light.
They will be ready in a couple of months & will keep for around 12 months.
Once the jar is opened I always keep it in the fridge.
Some recipes just call for the pulp, others the rind but I always use the whole lemon and a few teaspoons of the juice when I make Tagines or Curries.
It has such a unique flavour & is so aromatic that I hate to waste a drop of this precious preserve.

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