Monday, February 27, 2012

Making Preserved Lemons with Kumquats

Yes, you can find posts on this all over the internet, but it's new to me. I DID try some kind of preserved lemons years ago, but they were in olive oil if I remember correctly. They spoiled, and now I never even put herbs or garlic in olive oil... too risky.

I finally found Meyer Lemons in the grocery store in the next town. The price was right (and cheaper than regular lemons!) so I bought 2 bags of juicy Meyer lemons. They also had kumquats, which grew wild in the neighborhood where I visited my grandfather, and I haven't had any in years. They went in the basket, too.

I shy away from buying foods with a lot of miles to get to me, but sometimes I just can't help myself!

I started out with the method I see a lot, which is quartering each lemon almost all the way through, and packing a tablespoon of non-iodized salt inside before putting them in the jar. Then I remembered this blog post, where he cuts the lemons all the way through, and adds a variety of spices (like star anise and black pepper) as well as salt. The neat thing he does is make use of the salty residue when all the lemons are used up, by dehydrating the salty liquid and crushing it in a mortar/pestle to use to flavor other dishes.

I mashed down the lemons a couple of times, and the next day I quartered them, added spices (cinnamon, star anise and peppercorns) and more salt. More occasional mashing, and now they are releasing more juice. Last, I added kumquats cut in half, and more salt. 

After another day or two, I put them in a smaller jar (didn't do it earlier as my masher wouldn't fit in the opening of a smaller jar), put a lid on, and I'll store them in a cool place for a month before using.


  1. Please, please, tell me what these are used for! I've read about them but remain mystified. They look so good. I've also seen recipes where the lemons are sliced into the typical lemon "wheel" shaped slices and seeded. I imagine limes could be treated this way, too.

    I LOVE the idea of using the lemony salt, too!

    1. Several people have emailed me to ask the same question! How about I do a blog post sometime next week with all kinds of recipe suggestions?


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