Presearved Lemons

Serves: 1

Of all the condiments, spices and seasonings used in Moroccan cooking the most important would be preserved lemons. This technique for salting and storing lemons give Moroccan food access to lemons year round and adds a level of flavor you just can’t get from a normal lemon. The basic method for preserving lemons is to take fresh lemons, cut nearly into quarters by making two cuts down from the top to nearly the bottom. Next pour kosher or rock salt into the lemon and place it in a large jar. Continue until the jar is stuffed full. Add a little water to start the process, cover and place in a dark, cool place for several weeks. When done the peel is tender enough to eat and the pulp has literally turned to jelly. But most importantly the lemon flavor has been intensified as the water has been drawn from the lemon.

This recipe comes from The New York Cookbook.

Lemon Preserves

(about 5 half-pints)

4 lemons
1 orange

Remove the peel from lemons and orange. Cut the peel into paper-thin julienne strips and combine with the sliced or chopped fruit. Discard seeds.

Add 1 cup water for each cup of pulp and peel. Let stand overnight.

Boil mixture until the peel is tender. Cool.

Add 1 cup sugar for each cup of fruit and juice. Cook until syrup gives a jelly test - 2 drops form on the edge of a metal spoon and drop off simultaneously. Stir occasionally. Pour into hot sterile half-pint jars. Seal at once.

And from the same book…

Preserved Orange Slices

(About 2 pints)

6 large thin-skinned oranges
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup cognac (optional)

Wash oranges and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Cover with boiling water and cook until tender, or about 1 hour. Drain, discarding the water.

Boil together the sugar and 2 cups water 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon juice and orange slices and simmer until the orange rind is tender and translucent, or about 1 hour. Add water as necessary.

Place the orange slices in hot sterile jars. Cover with the boiling syrup, add the coganc and seal.