There is nothing like the smell and taste of fresh citrus! But what to do if you have an over abundance of lemons or oranges? Preserve with sugar or salt!
The preserving process concentrates the flavor and also mellows out the tartness. You can use any type of citrus, but the Meyer lemon is a favorite due to its sweetness and it is also less tart. One thing you should not compromise on is how it was grown — it should be always be organic!
It is easy to preserve citrus. Watch our video
and follow along as Tricia takes you step by step on how to candy lemons and blood oranges, and also how to make salted lemons!
Organic lemons or blood oranges
1 c sugar
3/4 c water
2 Tbs of lemon juice (or the juice of blood orange)
Wash the lemons, cut the ends off and slice the lemons into 1/4" slices. Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice in a bowl. Add the mixture to a large pan and start on high heat. Reduce to low once the mixture comes to a boil. Add the lemon slices to the syrup and cook on simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until all of the liquid is gone, turning throughout the cooking. Remove from pan and place onto parchment paper to cool. Put them in the refrigerator to cool for about 2 hours. Once cooled, place the slices in layers of parchment paper in a sealed storage container. Store in the refrigerator for about 1-2 months.
So now that you have your candied citrus, what can you do with it? The possibilities are endless but here are a few ideas:
- Chopped up and sprinkled over ice cream or yogurt
- Added to breads, muffins or cakes
- Garnish for desserts or citrus-based cocktails
- Added to salads for a real zest
Salt Preserved Lemons
Sterilized Weck Jars
Kosher rock salt
Cut the end off one end of the lemon and cut into quarters without cutting all the way through. Place about 1 Tbsp of salt onto each lemon. Pack lemons into the jar and top off with a little lemon juice. Place the lid on the jar and place in your pantry or a cool place. Everyday turn the jar for about 3 days. After this time top off with lemon juice and let the lemons sit for another month.
Preserved lemons are frequently used in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine. Here are a few links to recipes found online at the Daring Gourmet: Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives
, Moroccan Chicken, Apricot and Almond Tagine
, you can mince it and add it to rice or couscous for seasoning or add it to chicken or fish when baking.
Preserve your citrus with sugar or salt, it is easy to do and will add so much flavor to your dishes!