currently crushing on… preserving lemons

preserved lemons

Can you guess? We’re crazy for Meyer lemons. A bag of Meyer lemons from Costco can do that. After making jars of lemon curd and sunny tartelettes, we thought we would wrap up our lemon week with a quick solution for left over lemons that are too darn good to waste. Because you know that if you let these lovely lemons over ripen – you’ll be kicking yourself for weeks. “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.” We firmly believe in that.

lemon wedges

We can’t help but smile when we look at our cute little jars of lemons. They look like sunshine in jam jars. We are looking forward to using them all summer long… in couscous, tajine or chopped up with rosemary and thyme topped on grilled fish. Yum.

spices

Preserved Lemons

Yields 2 small jars of preserved lemon wedges

Ingredients

  • 6 unwaxed, organic lemons (if you have Meyer lemons, even better)
  • sea salt
  • peppercorns
  • cardamom
  • bay leaves
  • cloves
  • cinnamon sticks
  • any other spices…

1. First wash and dry two small jam jars. Take care to look over the jar and lids, checking for rust on the lids or chips on the glass rim of the jars (if present do not use for jamming/preserving.)

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use tongs to place jars and lids into the hot water bath. Allow jars and lids to sterilize in the boiling water for about 15 minutes. Use the tongs to remove the jars from the water and let cool on a clean towel.

3. Cut 4 lemons into quarters and remove seeds.

4. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt into a sterilized jar and then add a generous layer of lemon wedges. Press wedges down and allow wedges to release juices. Add a teaspoon of salt, a few cardamom pods, a few peppercorns and a dried bay leaf (or a few cloves, peppercorns and a cinnamon stick) or any combination of spices that strike your fancy.

5. Add another layer of lemon wedges and press the wedges down. Add another teaspoon of salt. Continue adding lemon wedges, salt and spices/herbs until you reach the top of the jar but leave a bit of room. Repeat this process with the second jar. If you used a bay leaf in the first jar, why not try a cinnamon stick in the second? Or maybe a jar with just sea salt and pepper? Keep it tame or go wild!

6. Juice the remaining lemons and pour the juice over the lemon wedges, covering the lemon wedges completely.

7. Seal the jars, gently shake and put in the refrigerator. For the next week, gently shake the jars every day and admire your happy little lemons. Let them sit for another 3 weeks in the refrigerator while they preserve.

8. After a month they will be ready to use. We recommend using within 6 months of creation.

preserved lemons

We hope you have a lovely weekend! Even if it’s not sunny in Seattle, it’s sunny in our jars!

XOXO, Bee and Em

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zesty lemon curd

bowl of lemonsHave you ever wondered how lemons got such a bad wrap? And for how long have lemons been associated with someone being the recipient of misfortune? Apparently, since 1915 when writer Elbert Hubbard published an obituary for Marshall P. Wilder. Hubbard wrote that Wilder had “picked up the lemons that Fate had sent to him and started a lemonade-stand.”

Frankly, I think the gentleman didn’t know very much about lemons. If Fate suddenly dropped a bag of Meyer lemons on my doorstep – I would leap with joy. Better yet, deliver the whole darn tree. Oh the possibilities! Baking, preserving, cooking, juicing, dehydrating, candying… But first I would proudly display them on my counter as a lovely, fragrant centerpiece. Then, as they soften, I would slice a few for grilled fish or halve them for roasting a chicken. I could zest one for apple pie. And If I’m not feeling well, I would heed my mother’s advice to drink tea with honey and lemon. Oh and with summer approaching soon… how about making lemon sorbet or adding to a Pimm’s cocktail? I’m counting down the days!

Today, let us indulge in lemon curd. Sweet, zesty lemon curd. It’s surprisingly simple to make and the list of ingredients is likely stuff you already have on hand. All you need is for Fate to deliver Meyer lemons to your doorstep. Fingers crossed!

lemon curd ingredients

zesty lemon curd

yields about two 8 oz jars

Ingredients

  • 5 small Meyer lemons
    – grated zest from 5 lemons
    – juice from 4 lemons
  • heaping 3/4 cup baking sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 stick butter cut into pieces

This recipe moves pretty quickly once you get going so I highly recommend that you have everything prepped.

Bring water to a roaring boil in a large saucepan.

In a small saucepan, crack in the eggs and add the sugar and juice from lemons. Suspend the small saucepan over the large saucepan of boiling water. Whisk rapidly until blended. Continue to stir or whisk mixture (constantly to ensure curd doesn’t scramble) for about 10-12 minutes. The mixture will thicken.

Remove the curd from heat and push into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve.

Stir in the pieces of butter and mix until melted. Add lemon zest and let the mixture cool and thicken. zest

Once the curd has cooled, spoon into clean, sterilized jars. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week (if it lasts that long).

giftsIt makes for a lovely treat on brioche in the morning, a zesty afternoon nibble on madeleines or a decadent topper on vanilla gelato. Morning, noon, or night, lemon curd will delight.

Enjoy!
XOXO, Em