I adore lemons! Growing up in Southern California, I was surrounded by amazing citrus in my everyday life – I grew up in a country setting, across the street from acres and acres of orange groves with some lemon and grapefruit growing way off, miles from civilization. In fact, the only way I remember how to get to those rare lemon groves was by horseback. Out there, in the middle of the groves was a beauty and silence that I will never forget, punctuated occasionally by the stirring of an owl and paced by the slow dripping of an immense drain pipe that ran into a bottomless well and the gentle trod of horse hooves on the dirt. I think I was only four or five the first time my mom took me there and I truly felt that I had never seen a place so beautiful – a bounty of sunny yellow lemons bending the boughs of dark green, waxy trees. Smells of citrus blossoms filled the air. Since that time, the wonderful flavor of lemons have been an everyday part of my life. Recently, with an overflow of lemons in the refrigerator and a recent cooking show on his mind, my husband made the most flavorful, sublime lemon preserves imaginable.
Moroccan Lemon Preserves
10 organic lemons
1/4 cup canning salt
1 quart canning jar with lid
Wash and sterilize a 1 quart canning jar with lid
Wash and scrub lemons. Slice off the very ends and make 6 even cuts in each lemon without cutting all the way through. Sprinkle salt between each of the cuts made in the lemons.
Place lemons in the jar, pressing them down to extract as much juice as possible. Repeat until all lemons are in the jar. Be sure to place the last lemon sideways so you have to use force to screw on the cap.
Let the jar sit in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks.
Lemons will become very soft and the liquid will turn to a syrup consistency.
After 3 weeks, spoon out preserves and dice or chop as needed.
Preserves will last about 6 months
*You can vary the flavor of your preserves by adding a bay leaf and a pinch of whole peppercorns to the bottom of the jar before lemons are packed.