Preserving Lemons

I love having fresh lemons on hand but, alas, lemons do not grow in Maine and my local market doesn’t always have organic lemons. Enter preserved lemons. All you need is:


lemons, a jar and a knife

Cut lemons into quarters, sprinkle generously and completely with salt and pack into jar-pressing to release juices. The lemons should be submerged.

Just let the lemons sit out for several days-I do about 3 days ( *see note below). The lemons should smell great and the peel softened. Store in the fridge and use whenever lemons are called for- the juice as well as the whole lemon is usable. Hold back on the salt  tho- these are salted lemons after all.

Coming up: I’ll share several recipes in which I use preserved lemons.

Editing: I just want to add that you can rinse the finished lemons to cut back on the salt if desired. Also, preserved lemons are not traditionally stored in the fridge. I’ve begun to leave the preserved lemons out -saving fridge space- and I have to say they keep getting better.


Joining  traditional tuesdays realfood wednesday, simple lives thursday, fightback friday

20 thoughts on “Preserving Lemons

  1. This is really interesting. I didn’t know that you could preserve lemons like this. Do they taste really salty? Also, can you still you the peel for zest?

    • Pam they are salty so no lemonade. I add the lemon and then add salt to taste. I haven’t tried baking with the preserved lemons but I would imagine the whole peel could be grated fine and used like zest- i will have to try it.

    • I’ll post a few recipes where I sub in preserved lemons soon. gnowfglins has a recipe for spiced preserved lemons which I need to try- i can imagine some tasty baked goods with those!
      Thanks for stopping by & hosting traditional tuesdays!

  2. This is great. The only recipe I have calls for Meyer lemons. Some are supposed to in the store just now but haven’t been yet. I do juice lemons and limes and freeze in ice cube trays however this does preserve the peel.

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  4. We have a lemon tree and have had to find creative ways to put up dozens of lemons when the tree ripens. My freezer and dehydrator have really come in handy for this! Carefully, peel the zest from the lemon first. Make sure you don’t get that bitter pith in there! And then juice the lemons, getting all of the seeds out. The zest freezes well as is or just dehydrate it and store in an airtight container. I put the juice in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I put the cubes in a freezer bag and use the cubes as I would lemon juice. Each cube is 1 tablespoon. I can usually freeze and dry enough each year to make it to the next year. Oh, and the ball canning book has a lemonade concentrate that can be canned and I make about 5 gallons of hard lemonade. Did I mention that it’s quite the prolific tree! Thanks for the great post!

    • Thanks for stopping by. Dehydrated lemons are great too. I love using them when baking whole salmon with dill-delicious! I’ll have to take a closer look at my ball canning book and check out that lemonade recipe.

  5. They are wonderful in dishes with greens like spinach… mince them finely and maybe add in a little cheese, sauteed onion and garlic, and bake for a green casserole. And, of course, preserved lemons are a great excuse to try some Moroccan tagines!

  6. I just now found this, and as soon as I read it I leaped out of my chair and went into the kitchen, grabbed the lemons and put together a pint of these! I had several “extra” lemons that I didn’t know what to do with. Thank you so much! Have you posted recipes for them yet? I am new to your blog.

  7. Pingback: In the Kitchen :: Favorite | mossgrownstone

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