Cheat’s preserved lemons (or limes, or oranges …)

Cheat’s preserved lemons (or limes, or oranges …)

By
From
Citrus
Photographer
Mowie Kay

And here is the one recipe in this chapter I absolutely could not do without. It is an instant version of preserved lemons I discovered in Anna Hansen’s The Modern Pantry cookbook and it’s a brilliant way of getting that potent, salty burst of citrus into dishes when you haven’t homemade preserved lemons to hand or you don’t want to shell out for the generally substandard and ridiculously expensive bought variety. And actually, I find this version brighter and more versatile – the juice is salty, but not overly so, and has an intense, citrusy flavour which makes it ideal in dressings or just drizzled over some fish or chicken to brighten it up. I have made this with Seville oranges, blood oranges, mandarins (tricky because of the thin mandarin skin but do-able; just accept that you need to scrape pith from the inside, rather than pare zest from the outside), limes and grapefruit. All wonderful. Citrus preserved this way will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator, but will gradually lose its vibrancy of colour. To preserve it for longer, you can freeze it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 lemons, (or any other type of citrus, see introduction)
1 teaspoon sea salt

Method

  1. Pare the zest from the lemons in large slices, preferably with a swivel peeler, then trim off any excess white pith. Put in a small saucepan, squeeze the pared lemons and add the juice to the pan along with the sea salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the zest is tender.
  2. Allow to cool and keep in a sterilised jar in the refrigerator until needed. It will keep for months, but can be used immediately.
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