Moroccan Preserved Lemons in a Jar

by eat in my kitchen

Moroccan Lemons

My aunt collected a few recipes requiring Moroccan preserved lemons. I had never heard of this North African delicacy before and she told me that they are hard to find in stores but she was lucky enough to spot them in the gourmet section of a department store. Happy to have found them she nearly fell over when she saw the price! She bought a small jar and we tried a lemon together, it was wonderfully juicy, aromatic and sour! We decided that we would manage to make our own.

Unfortunately, the organic lemons on offer at the moment aren’t perfect but they’ll work with a trick. Ideally you would use very small citrus fruits with thin rind, they just need to be carved slightly, two long incisions along the sides. I wish I could pick the fruits off my mother in law’s tree in her garden in Malta, ripened under the Mediterranean sun! For now, I have to work with what I’ve got but that’s no problem. I just cut off both ends and quartered the fruit without cutting all the way through (as you can see in my photos).

The next step is to rub lots of coarse sea salt into the lemons, Mr. Cini’s sea salt from the Gozitan salt pans was called to use. After a few seconds the juices started running, I compressed the fruits and pushed them into the jar one after the other. I poured the juice of a lemon and some more salt on top before I closed it. 2 days later I had to compress the lemons again and check if they were covered in juice. Now they are sitting in my pantry and I’ll have to wait for a month before I can enjoy them. My aunt told me that they taste delicious in salads and couscous, and with poultry and lamb. I can’t wait!

Moroccan Lemons

Moroccan Preserved Lemons

For 5 lemons preserved in an 800ml jar you need

organic lemons, rinsed, 5 (small ones if possible)
coarse sea salt 70g / 2.5 ounces
juice of 2 big lemons

Sterilize a preserving jar for 5 minutes in boiling water.

Cut both ends off the lemons and quarter the fruits without cutting all the way through (as you can see in my photos). Rub a heaped teaspoon of salt into each lemon, compress them and push into your sterilized jar. Add the rest of the salt and the lemon juice, push everything down and close the jar.

After 2 days press down on the lemons again with a spoon and check if they are covered in liquid. Add the juice of another lemon if they aren’t almost covered. Put the jar in a dark place and wait a month. When they are soft and ready to eat, rinse them quickly before you use them in an aromatic meal.

Moroccan Lemons

 

Moroccan Lemons

 

Moroccan Lemons