How to Make Easy Preserved Lemons, Limes, and Oranges
Today, I am sharing with you How to Make Easy Preserved Lemons, Limes, and Mandarin Oranges. This preserved citrus makes a tasty and versatile condiment that’s perfect for your Traditional Foods Pantry.
What is Preserved Citrus?
Preserved lemons are often referred to as Moroccan preserved lemons, as they are frequently used in the preparation of foods from that region of the world. These lemons are packed in salt, which allows them to be shelf-stable and not spoil. They are basically lacto-fermented or cured lemons.
But rather than just using a tablespoon or two of salt, as when making other common ferments, these preserved lemons are packed in salt. Over time, these salt-packed lemons release their juices and create a tender rind that is no longer bitter and is perfect for a variety of recipes. Plus, you can use this technique to make other preserved citrus.
How to Use Preserved Lemons, Limes, and Oranges
The nice thing about citrus preserved in salt is that any bitter flavor from the rind is diminished. And after giving the salted citrus a good rinse under running water, the salty taste dissipates as well. You can use the rind in stovetop dishes, as well as baked goods. You can also stuff a chicken or any poultry with the entire citrus.
If you are just using the rind, you can save the pulp to add to smoothies or other dishes that call for a bit of citrus flavor. Plus, if you make bone broth, a bit of citrus pulp can help to acidulate the water to help extract the collagen!
More Fermented Foods
Now that you’ve learned how to make preserved lemons, limes, and oranges, be sure to try your hand at making other probiotic-rich homemade fermented condiments including:
- How to Make Fermented Giardiniera – Probiotic Rich Italian Pickle Relish
- How to Make Fermented Salsa – Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners
- How To Make Homemade Mayonnaise in 1 Minute With An Immersion Blender
- Simple Fermented Ketchup Recipe That Tastes Like Store Bought
- Easy Homemade Fermented Mustard – 3 Tasty Recipes
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Preserved Lemons, Limes, and Oranges
- 3-Quart sized jars with lids
- Mandarin oranges
- Fine ground sea salt or Kosher salt
- Herbs and spices optional
- First, cut off the stem and tail of each piece of citrus.
- Next, slice each piece of citrus twice, 3/4 of the way down from the tops making an X. Do not cut all the way through. (Watch the video to see how to make the slices.)
- Take the first jar, and sprinkle about a tablespoon of salt on the bottom.
- If you want to add any herbs or spices, place them at the bottom of the jar. (Watch the video for an example.)
- Starting with the lemons, fill the cavity of each lemon, one at a time, with salt, and then place the lemon to form a layer into the first jar. After each layer of lemons is placed into the jar, squeeze them in as tight as possible and sprinkle them with salt before proceeding to add the next level of lemons. Repeat the process until you can fit as many lemons as possible in the jar. Be sure to press down on each layer of lemons as you fill the jar. After you have completed filling the jar with lemons, put a lid on the jar.
- While you were packing the jar, the lemons should be releasing juice to be covered with lemon juice. If they are not completely covered, wait a few days. When you check on them, if they are not yet covered with lemon juice, you can add additional lemon juice to make sure all the lemons are submerged under the juice.
- Store jar in a pantry or cupboard, out of direct sunlight, for 30 days.
- Repeat this process with the limes and the mandarin oranges.
- After 30 days, transfer preserved citrus jars to the refrigerator. The preserved citrus will last up to six months while refrigerated.
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