Bright yellow orbs of aromatic zestiness, lemons are a staple in the kitchen so save the season's citrus by preserving the last lemons of the season on your pantry shelf to add zing to myriad meals
Recipes and styling Katelyn Williams
Photos Angie Lázaro
Food assistant Liezl Odendaal
makes 1L jar
½ cup salt
5 lemons, scrubbed well
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
fresh lemon juice, to fill
Place 2T salt in the bottom of a 1-litre sterilised jar. Score four lemons in quarters, keeping the base attached. Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle with the rest of the salt.
Pack the lemons in the jar, squashing them down to release as much juice as possible. Add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and fill up the jar with enough lemon juice to cover the lemons.
Seal the jar and allow to stand at room temperature for a couple of days, turning the jar upside down occasionally. Place in the refrigerator, again turning occasionally, for at least three weeks before using.
Tips & ideas
Preserve the zest and juice of lemons by grating the rind and freezing in ice-block trays. Once frozen, store in a ziplock bag in the freezer. To use, simply pop it in the pot.
* Preserve limes or oranges by using the same method.
To use, remove the lemon from the jar. Rinse under cold running water to remove salt. Pat dry. Remove the rind and chop as desired. Discard flesh and white pith – they’re too salty to use.
Use this shortcut if a recipe calls for preserved lemons and your shelf is bare!
Cut lemons in half, and then quarter without cutting through the skin. Simmer, covered with water to which 100g salt was added, for one hour. Place in sterilised jars, seal and allow to cool upside down. They will keep for five days in a sealed jar in the fridge.