Author Topic: salt preserved/moroccan lemons  (Read 20578 times)

Offline Morning Sunshine

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salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« on: December 09, 2010, 02:57:31 PM »
ok, this is my first time trying to add pictures to a post, so bear with me here....


wash your lemons.  these were organic lemons, so I didn't go crazy with the washings, just warm water and a bit of vinegar


cute little lemon on a cutting board with a sharp knife.


blurry picture of my cute little boy cutting a lemon.  notice how the lemon is blossom-side up.  You want to cut almost through the lemon, leave about 1/2-1 inch intact.  Cut an "x" into the lemon:


see how it is still holding together?


oops, I forgot that you cut off the bottom just enough that it can stand up while you are cutting the "x"


now you see our clean 2-quart jar.  and a tupperware full of kosher salt (the dirty plate and eraser have nothing to do with lemons, and everything to do with 4 children homeschooling!)

I do not have a picture of this step, but you take your salt and coat the inside of the lemon with it.  Some websites I looked at said 1 teaspoon per lemon, another 2 Tablespoons, and a wide variety in between.  I went with about a tablespoon.  Rub this in with your very clean fingers.  I hope you do not have a paper cut.


put the lemons in your jar, and start packing them down.  you want them squished!!!


as you squish them, you will be making lemon juice.  a very salty lemon juice - you can see the salt on the walls of the jar.

keep packing and squishing and packing and squishing until you cannot put in even a part of a lemon.


it will look like this, at least mine did.  leave it on the counter for a week, turning and swishing the bottle once a day.  put it in the fridge for another week or so, then you can start using it.

the lemons need to be submerged in the salty lemon juice acid.  If you use the juice without any lemons, your exposed lemons will go bad.  So try not to drink use the juice without also using the lemons.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2010, 02:58:20 PM »
ummm..... no pictures.... help?

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2010, 08:55:10 PM »
There's a good tutorial on how to post pictures to the forum here.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2010, 09:21:31 PM »
ok, this is my first time trying to add pictures to a post, so bear with me here....


wash your lemons.  these were organic lemons, so I didn't go crazy with the washings, just warm water and a bit of vinegar


cute little lemon on a cutting board with a sharp knife.


blurry picture of my cute little boy cutting a lemon.  notice how the lemon is blossom-side up.  You want to cut almost through the lemon, leave about 1/2-1 inch intact.  Cut an "x" into the lemon:


see how it is still holding together?


oops, I forgot that you cut off the bottom just enough that it can stand up while you are cutting the "x" - see the other ends?


now you see our clean 2-quart jar.  and a tupperware full of kosher salt (the dirty plate and eraser have nothing to do with lemons, and everything to do with 4 children homeschooling!)


I do not have a picture of this step, but you take your salt and coat the inside of the lemon with it.  Some websites I looked at said 1 teaspoon per lemon, another 2 Tablespoons, and a wide variety in between.  I went with about a tablespoon.  Rub this in with your very clean fingers.  I hope you do not have a paper cut.


put the lemons in your jar, and start packing them down.  you want them squished!!!


as you squish them, you will be making lemon juice.  a very salty lemon juice - you can see the salt on the walls of the jar.


keep packing and squishing and packing and squishing until you cannot put in even a part of another lemon.


it will look like this, at least mine did.  leave it on the counter for a week, turning and swishing the bottle once a day.  put it in the fridge for another week or so, then you can start using it.



the lemons need to be submerged in the salty lemon juice acid.  If you use the juice without any lemons, your exposed lemons will go bad.  So try not to drink use the juice without also using the lemons.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2010, 09:21:49 PM »
There's a good tutorial on how to post pictures to the forum here.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 09:26:07 PM »
You're welcome!

The pics came out good!

Offline littletea

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 06:27:45 AM »
Great tutorial!  So the preserved lemons must be stored in the fridge and not the pantry?  What else have you made with these preserved lemons? 


Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 07:28:36 AM »
I add them to anything that calls for lemon juice that will be blended up, like a creamy black bean soup (before I get requests, here it is http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=23012.new#new )

if a recipe calls for lemon zest, I pull out a quarter or 2 or 3 and slices them finely in 2 directions to get little pieces.  I do not worry about getting them too small - there are a few of us who like to look for the lemon pieces for yummy bites.

I have been known to grab a small one with a fork and just eat it (but I was also known for drinking lemon juice in college.  they were my "virgin" shots, and I think I would have had one of my friends' shots before they would ever have tried a shot of lemon juice, they were so weirded out by it   :D)

I created a new yummy recipe for chicken based solely on these lemons.  mmmm - it is a favorite around here. (and yes,I posted that too: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=23014.new#new )

Offline Nadir_E

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 03:41:39 PM »
Very cool, MS - and thanks for the recipes, too!  +1 to you!

Will have to try that when my (newly planted) lemon trees start producing fruit!

-N

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2010, 05:54:13 AM »
Thanks for the tutorial and for posting the pics.  I love it when people post pictures - it's the only way my dumb artist brain gets anything. I would have still been sitting here saying, "Huh?" at the salt and squished lemons.

Question - does the salt make the lemon juice really salty tasting (or is that a big duh) or can you use this to make something sweet as in lemonade or in baking? Thanks!

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2010, 07:12:34 AM »
Question - does the salt make the lemon juice really salty tasting (or is that a big duh) or can you use this to make something sweet as in lemonade or in baking? Thanks!

It is salty juice, but not overly salty.  I still have to add some salt to my cooking when I use either the lemons or the juice in recipes.  I have been meaning to experiment with lemonade just to experiment, but I suspect it may be too salty.  As for baking, I would experiment.  Most baking calls for salt (in fact, cannot think of a recipe that does not, but I haven't seen ALL the baking recipes, so I will not say "All").  cut the called-for salt in half and see where it gets you.
or, if it were me, I would make a regular-follow-the-recipe batch, taste the batter, and then try a batch with the preserved lemons and see if you need to add salt.
also, on some of the "preserved lemons" websites, they say that in Morocco, cooks will rinse their lemons before use in cooking.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 09:36:05 AM »
Thanks MS - I appreciate your input!

Offline sdcharger

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 01:39:02 PM »
You can wash or blanch to remove some of the salt.  It might help if you want to use the lemon in something sweet.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2011, 01:49:44 PM »
I just did a small jar of limes in this fashion.  they were not organic.  I cannot for the life of me find organic limes for less than $4 a pound.  and I wanted to try this before I forked over the big bucks.

anyway, I had some limes, and I followed the above directions.  some differences:
the lemons retained a bright yellow color.  the limes are kind of brownish-green.
there is not a lot of extra juice in the limes, in fact, I have had to add lime juice to the jar once while it was sitting on the counter and again when I used some the other day.  I have never had to do that with the lemons.
they seemed salty.  I know, "duh - you packed them in salt!"  but the lemons have never tasted salty to me.  maybe with limes being smaller I need to adjust the amount per lime.

I have used them once, I had a jar of chicken breasts that did not seal while canning last week, so I took that jar, 1/8 c of taco seasoning, and 2 wedges of limes from the jar.  cooked together for 20 min or so.  served as chicken tacos.  the limes gave a nice flavor.  I liked it.  I think I would like a jar in the fridge.  maybe next year I will be able to find organic limes somewhere....

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2011, 01:54:43 PM »
Great tutorial!  So the preserved lemons must be stored in the fridge and not the pantry?

I never did answer this.  these were developed before refrigeration in a hot land.  technically, from what I have read, they will last 4-6 months on the counter.  Since I can only get a good deal on organic lemons once a year, I must needs have them last for a full year, so I refrigerate them.  slow down the "going bad" process.

I do not normally care about the "organic" label, but since I will be eating the peels of these, I care about that here.  and yes, it really is the peel you will be eating.  and it is simply marvelous! mmm.....

Offline littletea

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2011, 10:07:46 PM »
MS - Does the white pith make this bitter at all?

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2011, 07:28:08 AM »
MS - Does the white pith make this bitter at all?

no.  oddly, the lemons are almost sweet.  still sour, but now sweet also.  I have not tried the limes plain.  I think the brownish color is off-putting to my eyes :P  which means (in my twisted head) that they are okay to cook with but not to eat.   ::) I know, makes no sense.  maybe I will banish my eyes and eat a bit of lime today.  ;D

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2011, 10:33:56 AM »
Thanks for the awesome post. I think we may have to try this.

Offline marauder

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2011, 04:31:26 PM »
Historically, preserved lemons are from Marocco. In most Middle Eastern cuisine, you only use the rind. Traditionally, the curing process takes about a month. If you wait the full month, the juice and the pulp becomes far too salty to use for anything. Generally, you would take a lemon out of your jar and split it fully open. You scrape out the pulp and are left with just the rind. You then either finely dice the rind or cut it into thin strips--jullienne in professional kitchens.

Most common uses are in marinades for middle eastern fish and chicken and sometimes lamb dishes. It is also very popular folded into couscous which is a Middle Eastern dry pasta made from semolina.  It is dried and toasted. It is nice for prepping because it is no cook. You take hot water or stock and add to your dry couscous. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes. It steams itself done. Fluff with a fork and add things like currants, toasted pine nuts, mint, finely diced preserved lemon rind (in this case...lol) or really anything else. Another nice addition is a nice vinaigrette...very filling and *relatively* inexpensive. Also nice because it can be served hot or cold. Very versatile addition to the prepper's pantry.

As for your actual preserved lemon *recipe* fee free to add things like cinnamon sticks, whole toasted cumin seeds, star anise (available in all Asian markets).  The lemons take these other spices very well. If I come into a good deal on lemons, I will do 2 or 3 different jars, some spiced some not. Always use organic, as you are ultimately eating the rind and discarding the pulp.

Enjoy...

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2011, 01:01:15 PM »
thanks, marauder, for your experience.  I have only done this twice with lemons and just recently with limes.  So this is mostly chronicling my journey.

Historically, preserved lemons are from Morocco. In most Middle Eastern cuisine, you only use the rind. Traditionally, the curing process takes about a month. If you wait the full month, the juice and the pulp becomes far too salty to use for anything. Generally, you would take a lemon out of your jar and split it fully open. You scrape out the pulp and are left with just the rind. You then either finely dice the rind or cut it into thin strips--jullienne in professional kitchens.

so, when you get rid of the pulp, do you do that before the preservation or after a month of sitting on the counter?
Personally, I like the salty lemon.  but I like salt and I like lemons, and oddly, when I just eat them plain, they taste kind of sweet to me.  (but not the limes.  those tasted limey and salty, but not sweet).  and when I cook with them, I just add less salt.

could you post some of your recipes for using the lemons?  and when you would use cinnamon or anise lemons versus the plain.  I like plain cuz I mostly use them in chicken or fish dishes.  And I really like the strong lemon flavor of them, cuz well, have I mentioned that I like lemons?  :P

Offline marauder

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2011, 12:56:27 PM »
Your welcome,

pardon my typing--see thread on first aid forum  :P

you want to preserve the lemons EXACTLY as you are doing.  You discard the pulp AFTER they are preserved, just prior to usage. As you preserve them you definitely want to make sure that all of the whole lemons are submerged in lemon juice, even if that means adding additional lemon juice from other lemons.

Once my fingers heal, I will post some actual recipes on this thread. If you are familiar with Middle Eastern food in any way, they are primarily used in tagines, which are very similar to our stews or Indian curries. Slightly soupy, slightly thick dishes of braised chicken or lamb, mostly. Usually lots of spice and Moroccan food leans heavily on what we refer to as "apple pie" spices--cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, etc., but they use them in these savory dishes.

While I never tried limes, I wouldn't be surprised that they didn't keep their vibrant color. They are less acidic than lemons and that probably contributes to why.


Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2012, 11:05:56 AM »
bumping this cuz I just made another batch of lemons this week. they are fermenting on the counter.  since I have last posted this, I have discovered that Moroccan lemons fall under the lacto-fermented branch of food preservation.

here are a few sites with more information about that:
http://www.pickl-it.com/ (this is a site selling jars, but it also has good info)
http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/lacto-fermentation  (Nourishing Traditions, for example)

from what I have read, the bacteria in traditionally lacto-fermented products is VERY good for the digestive system, and for the body as a whole.  So you do not want to cook these bacteria (bacterium? bacterie?) for those properties to still be useful.  So take a bite of lemon occasionally just for kicks.  but usually, I cook with them.  they have such yummy flavor.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2012, 02:55:03 PM »
Great tutorial-thanks for sharing your experiences!  I just might have to try this myself soon and write a blog post on it.

I have read of this technique before, but most places tell you how to make without telling you how to use them.  (incidentally-that's my problem with chutney recipes-they always sound so interesting but I can't figure out how you are supposed to eat them. By themselves? On something? In something? I don't get it)  Now that you've given me some ideas of recipes you have used them in I see more possibilities

I am also very interested to learn that they are actually lacto fermented food.  That ups them on the priority list of projects to try as far as I'm concerned! Maybe a good way to preserve that quality in your food is to dice the rind and then add it to the dish just before serving so that it warms a bit and gives some lemony "tang" without killing the good stuff.

Offline sdcharger

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2012, 01:35:01 AM »
The lemon flavor is much more interesting and subtle from my salt preserved lemons compared to simply adding some lemon juice to a dish.  I've added them whole including the pulp to soups and stews, simmered some veggies with them, added them to stir fry, etc.  If they seem salty then adjust the salt you add to the dish.  Just experiment in your dishes that call for lemon flavor.  One of the best uses I've found is to take a large pork shoulder or picnic roast and cut slits into the middle of the roast.  Shove the preserved lemon wedges into the roast, season the outside with your prefered flavor (I used Moroccan and a friend used Cuban), wrap it in tinfoil, then put it in the oven on 200f for about 6 hours.  You will have to check for doneness as the cooking time will vary due to size of the roast.  It was falling apart moist and tender and the subtle lemon flavor permeated the whole roast.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2012, 09:17:35 AM »
Lemons were finally available at a relatively decent price, so I made my first batch of preserved lemons today. . . now I just have to wait a few weeks to see how they turned out.


Preserving lemons in salt by frugalupstate, on Flickr

Thanks for the inspiration.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2012, 11:05:57 AM »
yummy.  let me know how they turn out.

(now I need to go grab a bite of mine :P)

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2014, 09:23:13 AM »
bump.

We went Citrus picking last Saturday here http://u-pickcitrusaz.com/truman-ranch/

we have yummy grapefruits and oranges for eating, and lemons for preserving.  And some weird 1909 hybrid called a limequat http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limequat

The limes were out of season, so I could not get any for my moroccan limes :(  but these little gems are very lime flavored, and acidic enough that I think they will pickle/lacto-ferment nicely for lime dishes.

Frugal, how did you like the lemons you did 2 years ago?  Anyone else have any experience to add about their moroccan lemon ferments?

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2014, 09:49:16 AM »
I'm embarrassed to say that other than eating one or two as is just to try them I didn't wind up using them--I was intimidated because I wasn't sure how to use them in a recipe.  Pretty silly (and I HATE wasting food). Still on my list if things to really figure out.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2014, 10:46:17 AM »
I am going to try this soon since I use lemon juice and zest frequently.

Has anyone used these preserves as a cleaning agent?

Offline TexasGirl

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Re: salt preserved/moroccan lemons
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2014, 11:48:37 AM »
The other way lemon (and orange) rinds are preserved for use in Mediterranean dishes, is by sugar glaze dehydrating.  I don't have a recipe, but buy them at the Mediterranean market in Houston.

It's hard not to snack on the rinds though, they're too much like candy.  But I used to eat marmalade strait out of the jar...   Sweet & sour, mmmm.

~TG