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    « Wanna' glam up that cocktail? Three words: Ginger-Sugar Rim. | Main | Quince, the Queen of Pectin »
    Tuesday
    Nov162010

    Meyer Lemons...what else....PRESERVED!

    Meyer Lemon wedges, packed in salt, spices and lemon juice, are set aside to ferment.

    ~~~~~

    It's November, so you know what that means....

    ...Meyer Lemons are in season! They are one of my favorite fruits, and as soon as I see them in stores, I snatch them up.

    Sweeter, richer, and less acidic than a regular lemon, it bears the name of USDA scout Frank N. Meyer, who lugged the citrus back from a trip he took to Beijing in 1908. The main season for these elegant smooth-skinned mandarin-lemon hybrids runs November through March, but we have a tree in our house, and it seems to be on almost the exact opposite cycle. Go figure.

    Theoretically this means, if my hand-pollination continues to be successful, I can enjoy fresh Meyer Lemons all year around.

    Let's hope my optimistic plan "bears fruit"!

     ~~~~~

    Ever tasted Preserved Lemons? Their unique taste isn't for everyone, but if you like pickles and you love lemons, especially Meyer lemons, then Preserved Meyer Lemons are right up your alley.

    Making preserved lemons is easy. They only take a few minutes to prepare, and a few weeks set aside in a cool, dark place for the flavors to develop.

    Cut into wedges, removes seeds and place wedges into a clean jar.

    After you have packed the wedges into a jar, add a bay leaf and spices...

    ....fresh squeezed Meyer Lemon juice....

     

    ...and good quality sea salt...then poke with a spoon to incorporate the salt, and pop any air bubbles. Finish by sealing the jar and setting it aside for a few weeks to ferment.

    Preserved lemon is the key ingredient in many Moroccan dishes such as Tagines. They are often combined -- quite successfully I might add -- in various ways with olives, artichokes, seafood, veal, chicken, pasta and rice.

    You've probably eaten them and not even known it, as the Preserved Lemons are usually chopped pretty small before adding to dishes.
    For most dishes, only the peel is used. 

    Occasionally the pulp can be used, but not very often. For example, the pickled pulp and liquid can be used in Bloody Marys and other beverages where lemon and salt are used. I've noticed many Vietnamese restaurants have "Preserved Lemon Soda" on their non-alcoholic beverage menus.

    Not only are Preserved Lemons addictively delicious, they have a place in healthy living too. In Ayurvedic health practices, lemon pickle is a common home remedy for stomach disorders and its value is said to increase as it matures.


    Even if all you do is squeeze a wedge of Meyer Lemon into your next glass of ice water, they're worth trying. I promise.

    Preserved Lemon recipe

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    Reader Comments (8)

    I just made preserved lemons for the first time last summer and now I just have to work them into recipes! I always forget I have them, but next time I make fish they are going right on top. Beautiful photos!

    Thanks so much Sarah. So happy to hear someone else makes them too :)
    And I feel the same way about remembering to use them. In the past I stored them on the door of the fridge, and they were sort of "out of sight, out of mind" but this time around I realize that they are so beautiful they need to be front and center, where I can see them!

    November 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Last year when I made these I put the quartered lemons in a bowl, generously poured salt over them, and let them sit for 30 minutes before I started packing them into jars. The salt started to break down the rind a bit and made them a little easier to squeeze into jars.

    January 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

    That is an excellent plan! Thank you for the idea Kristen.

    January 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    beautiful photography & easy to follow format.esp enjoyed the step by step process of bread & butter pickles. i am especially excited to learn about your Meyer Lemon tree.hope u don't mind. i bought one but unfortunately it did not survive. was wondering if u might suggest any tips on getting one to grow? also, am curious to know how old your tree is? thanking you in advance!

    September 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanetta Cates

    Hi Danetta.

    Sorry for the delay. I have been caught up in a whirlwind of harvesting, jamming, pickling, drying, etc.

    You are so sweet to give me compliments on my photography and format. It's pretty time consuming so I live for the thanks I get. Means a lot to me.

    My husband bought the Meyer Lemon tree via mail order for me for Christmas one year. He was pretty concerned when it arrived. Just a twig in a cardboard tube, but he called the seller and she assured him it was 100% guaranteed so he planted it in a pot and stuck a ribbon on it. It looked like a Charlie Brown Xmas tree. A spindly stick. So sad. I nurtured it and sure enough with time and water and fertilizer and a lot of faith it grew. Then I was faced with another problem. The buds would fall off and never form fruit. I read up on lemon trees and realized since I didn't have bees in my house to pollinate, I would have to hand-pollinate the blossoms. That was easy. I just used a dry paint brush and went from blossom to blossom like a little bee would do.
    I DID get fruit after about a year.
    Then, sadly, my tree got some type of mite or bug and succumbed to the parasites. :(

    I think it is pretty tough to try to grow them in Seattle (inside) but I had a lot of fun watching the one crop of lovely lemons grow and ripen, and they were quite delicious!

    Good luck.

    Thank you for reading my blog, and for taking the time to write to me.

    B

    September 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

    Saw this reciepe and can not wait to make it. I have a Meyer Lemon Tree in my backyard and they are the size of softballs. My question is can I can the finished product in a water bath?

    Thank You.
    John
    Palm Coast, FL

    October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

    Hi John,

    Sorry for the delay. Somehow missed your post earlier.

    The answer is: I don't know!
    I always just keep them in the fridge, but I understand that there would be many reasons for wanting to preserve them in sealed jars. A lot of people are short on space in the fridge, for starters. Plus they are easier to give as gifts if they don't have to be refrigerated, right?

    I am going to look into it.

    SOOOOOOOO jealous that you have a Meyer Lemon Tree in your yard. The size of softballs? What are you feeding that happy tree? You must have a very green thumb!

    B

    PS > Checking into "canning" those lemons. Stay tuned.......

    October 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterBrook Hurst Stephens

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