Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

4 lemons

Coarse salt

Lemon Juice

Olive oil

 Wash the lemons well.  Cut the lemons in quarters lengthways from the pointed end, but only cutting to within 1cm of the base.

 Place 2 tablespoon salt in the base of a large sterilised jar.  Pack about 1 teaspoon of salt into each lemon, pressing well into the cut edges.  Make sure you do this on a plate so that you can capture all the juices that run from the lemons.

 Pack the lemons into the jar tightly.  Cover with a sprinkling of more salt.  Place the lid on the jar.

 Leave at room temperature for four days, by which time the lemons will probably have exuded enough juice to now cover the lemons.  If not, simply add more lemon juice until it does.

 Pour a thin layer of olive oil over the lemons.  Make sure the lemons are entirely covered.  If this poses a problem, press a piece of crumpled baking paper down under the lemon juice, ensuring that no air bubbles are trapped under it.  This can be removed after a week or two and the lemons should stay submerged.  If not, repeat the process.

 The lemons will be ready to eat in a four weeks.

 Generally only the rind is used in cooking and the pith and flesh discarded.

3 thoughts on “Preserved Lemons

  1. Erin says:

    Hi Sally. I made this recipe from my coping of Out of the Bottle but my lemons went mouldy after a week. In fact, there was some mould on the top of the baking paper when I removed it. I noticed that in that first four days, my lemons did not make anywhere near enough juice to cover them and I had to add A LOT of squeezed juice. Any ideas what I did wrong?


    • Sally Wise says:

      Hi Erin – I think the amount of salt may have been too low, especially as they went mouldy after a week – that’s very soon for that to happen. I’ve taken to pouring a layer of olive oil over the top as an added precaution against spoilage – it keeps the air from getting to the lemons. Another reason they could have gone moody is if the lemons rose to the top and were a little uncovered by the juice. That will do it every time.

      Very disappointing whichever way. Hope it goes better next time – try more salt, double it even.



      • Erin says:

        Thanks Sally for replying! 🙂 I made another batch with much more salt and they look much better already. I also used some different jars and packed them in tighter. I think that helped too. Discovered the cute clip top jars weren’t sealing properly when I gave them a good shake (which I read somewhere can help extract the juice) so I transferred them to sterilised screw lid jam jars instead.


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