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Karen/NoCA

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Need some help with preserving lemons

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:52 pm

I am so bad at reading recipes thoroughly. I was reading Patricai Wells recipe on preserving lemons.
I added all the ingredients together instead of just the lemon, salt and lemon juice.
Will the lemons preserve as expected, or will the olive oil stop the process?

Preserved Lemons
2 lemons, organic if possible
1/3 cup coarse sea salt
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
About 1/2 cup olive oil

Scrub lemons and dry them well. Cut each lemon lengthwise into 8 wedges. In a bowl, toss the lemon wedges, salt and lemon juice to coat the fruit evenly. Transfer to a 2-cup glass container with a non-metal lid. Close the container tightly and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 7 days. Shake daily to evenly distribute the salt and juices. To store, add olive oil to cover and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Yield: 2 cups lemon wedges
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Barb Downunder

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Barb Downunder » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:06 pm

Karen I think shaking daily should distribute the salt readily and let the preserving happen.
However The oil should come to the surface on resting, so you could remove most of it easily enough and continue the process as directed.
Good luck I am sure it should be fine.
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Frank Deis

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Frank Deis » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:12 pm

I agree with Barb -- I do cook Moroccan now and then and have a need for preserved lemons -- and recipes for them.

I will say it would be more trouble than it's worth for me to go to all that effort for TWO lemons. They keep well, and I'd want to do half a dozen or something. At any rate the oil should float on top exactly as intended and not harm anything.

I have a recipe for Meyer lemons that I'm interested in trying some day. But really what you are after is the softened lemon peel, and Meyer lemons have such a thin peel I'm not sure how that would work.

A couple of days ago I made Moroccan Chickpea Stew and experimented by adding the minced peel of 1/4 of a preserved lemon. I decided it gave the stew a slightly weird taste but later on the recipe had me add a bunch of chopped cilantro, not exactly Moroccan but it balanced the flavors nicely. The lemon is essential to chicken tagine.
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Jenise

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Jenise » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:22 pm

Karen, years ago when I became enchanted with preserved lemons after dining at Momo in London, I searched all over for recipes and found that there were many ways to go about it, but that principally most recipes either required oil right from the getgo or never asked for oil, so I did one batch of each. What I found was that the lemons with no oil were ready weeks earlier than the lemons in oil, but that the lemons in oil kept longer and the fleshy wall that is 'the good part' had more integrity long term. That is, the un-oil lemons broke down quite a bit where the oil lemons did not. Based on that experience, Patricia Wells' recipe looks to me like the perfect compromise between the two methods: you'll get your product sooner, and it will last longer. But having done it the other way? You've done no harm.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:50 pm

I preserved lemons two years ago, typical salt, lemon, and juice. They were then sealed in Mason jars. It was all good until the jars started leaking and the salt was eroding the metal lids. It was a mess. This recipe caught my eye because of the different method. Thanks for the input all.
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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Jenise » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:00 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:I preserved lemons two years ago, typical salt, lemon, and juice. They were then sealed in Mason jars. It was all good until the jars started leaking and the salt was eroding the metal lids. It was a mess. This recipe caught my eye because of the different method. Thanks for the input all.


Yeah, salt+acid= corrosive. But if all you had was a metal lid? A double layer of cling film between the lid and the jar makes a better seal, and the lid won't rot.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Frank Deis » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:23 pm

Those glass containers with glass snap-on lids are best. And they sell tall ones which I think are intended for pasta storage.
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Barb Downunder

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Barb Downunder » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:57 am

Just as a preseving aside.
If you use Ball/Mason jars they make plastic screw cap lids for their jars which are great
for after you have taken off the seal of canned stuff and I also use them for all other sorts of
storage including preserved lemons which do not require an actual seal.
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:33 pm

Thanks Barb, I did not know that. Even with this batch being in a glass food storage container with a plastic lid, and even with the oil put in by mistake,, the salt is creeping up and out and bringing some oil with it. Messy process. My lemons this year are huge and two of them are about the same as 6 store bought lemons. I don't know if their size means anything, though.
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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:52 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:My lemons this year are huge and two of them are about the same as 6 store bought lemons. I don't know if their size means anything, though.


Interesting. We have some friends whose lemon tree produces gigantic fruit. They look like typical Eureka lemons, just way bigger. I thought they must be some other type when I first saw them but I don't think that's the case.
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:15 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:
Karen/NoCA wrote:My lemons this year are huge and two of them are about the same as 6 store bought lemons. I don't know if their size means anything, though.


Interesting. We have some friends whose lemon tree produces gigantic fruit. They look like typical Eureka lemons, just way bigger. I thought they must be some other type when I first saw them but I don't think that's the case.


Yes, many are huge, some are seedless, but the biggest surprise this year is that we got 520 of them. I've been giving them away, and cooking all things lemon. I just saw on Ina Garten's show this afternoon, a lemon, garlic oil she made. Have to look it up to see if I want to make it. A lemon loaf with cappuccino chips turned out excellent this weekend. We are also juicing and freezing in ice cube trays, then transferring to freezer bags. Zest goes into the freezer too. I have been putting lemon cubes in my tomato juice each morning and a lemon cube in my martini at night, when I have one. This morning Gene pulled all the lemons that have rough looking marks on the skin and we juiced those. He finally has them spread in single layer all over his workshop benches and I think they will hold better until we can give the 220 left, to friends, or get them juiced. We have the tree on a feeding schedule and I think it loves it. Now if my baby Navel orange would start to perform!
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:51 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:...we got 520 of them.

Yikes! It's a full-time job to figure out what to do with that many of anything.
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Christina Georgina

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Christina Georgina » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:27 am

Karen,
What a fabulous crop !!! My friend just finished making lemon flavored Maldon salt using lemon zest. It is just fantastic for finishing all kinds of things and a beautiful hostess gift. Would not waste a single lemon peel...candy them, zest them and freeze the zest ; lemon marmalade ; freeze the juice in small containers- this and zest perfect for linguini al limone and lemon sorbet.
So envious of citrus growing climates as I shiver in minus 10 degrees today....
Mamma Mia !
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Need some help with preserving lemons

by Karen/NoCA » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:08 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:Karen,
What a fabulous crop !!! My friend just finished making lemon flavored Maldon salt using lemon zest. It is just fantastic for finishing all kinds of things and a beautiful hostess gift. Would not waste a single lemon peel...candy them, zest them and freeze the zest ; lemon marmalade ; freeze the juice in small containers- this and zest perfect for linguini al limone and lemon sorbet.
So envious of citrus growing climates as I shiver in minus 10 degrees today....

Great suggestions, thanks. Redding is not really a citrus growing area...too cold in winter and trees can freeze. There are pocket areas however, and we seem to be on the fringe on one. Last year, we covered the tree with frost cloth. This year it grew too big so Gene hooked up two large construction lights and we turn them on at night to keep the frost away and provide some heat against our freezing temps we've had for the past month in the mornings.
By the way, I have bags and bags of frozen lemon juice cubes and lots of zest. I think with the rest of them I am going to try some candied zest. I love the marmalade suggestion.

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