Citron Confit – Preserved Meyer Lemons

 

meyers_1.jpg

 

I recently bought a crate of these lemons from Hiller’s Market knowing that it might be the last I’d see of them here in Michigan (this season). I happened to come back the following day to pick up some pork belly from their meat department. Naturally, I cruised by the produce section to check on the Meyer status and indeed, they were all gone. Thank God I followed my instincts that time!

Part of my infatuation with this fruit, aside from its sweet flavor and its floral, intense perfume, lies in its season being so short and fleeting. If you happen to live in California, then you probably have a little bit more time left to enjoy these lemons. And, if I were you, I’d run, not walk to the nearest farmer’s market and get thee some Meyers lemons toute de suite!

I thought preserving the lemons might be a good way for me to enjoy them later, particularly when I start getting the Meyer lemon shakes. I contacted Warda and she quickly responded with her recipe for Citron Confit. I asked her about the need to flip the jar of preserved lemons every so often to evenly distribute the salt (as I had read that elswhere). Warda explained that it’s unnecessary – the salt will be drawn to the most acidic part of the jar – which is the center of the lemons. Through osmosis, there will be an equal concentration of salt/ liquid on both sides. Therefore, there is no need to shake or flip the jar. How lucky I am to know a resident expert and scientist on Mediterranean cuisine :)

I also wanted to try the Lemon Confit recipe from Michel Richard’s book as I liked the photo showing the lemon halves stacked like small citrus towers inside the jar. The biggest difference between the two recipes is the manner in which the lemons are cut – [almost] quartered in Warda’s and crosswise in Michel Richard’s. Also, Michel Richard’s uses no spices at all whereas Warda’s recipe includes a few coriander seeds and white peppercorns.

I am looking forward to adding the fragrant rind to different tagines, ragouts, tartares, salads and whatever else I can think of. Michel Richard says that he envisions a day when citron confit is as ubiquitous as ketchup. Cheers to that!

 

meyers_2.jpg

 

CITRON CONFIT – PRESERVED MEYER LEMONS:

adapted from Warda of 64sqftkitchen

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 Meyer Lemons
  • juice of half a Meyer Lemon
  • coarse sea salt
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • boiled water [cool to room temperature before use]
  • sterilized canning jar(s)

STEPS:

  • Thoroughly clean and scrub the lemons under warm running water. Cut the stems/tips off both ends of each lemon. Make 4 vertical incisions in the lemons as though you were quartering them [but do not cut all the way through] — see photo above. Using a little spoon, gently insert the salt in each incision. Try pushing it as far as it can go (to the center of the lemon), then rub it on the sides.
  • Tightly pack the lemons (it’s very important that they are tightly packed to assure good citron confits). Distribute the peppercorns and the coriander seeds, then add the lemon juice and cover with water. Cap the jars and leave in a dark, cool place for 3 to 4 weeks before using them.

To make Michel Richard’s version, follow the same steps above except:

  • 1) Cut them lemons crosswise and rub coarse salt on the cut side of each lemon before tightly packing them into a jar.
  • 2) Omit the coriander seeds and white peppercorns.

 

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Check out these blogposts:

How to Make Preseved Lemons from Simply Recipes

Soda Chanh Muối from Wandering Chopsticks

Moroccan Preserved Lemons at 101 Cookbooks

 

Bon appétit!

 

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14 Responses to “Citron Confit – Preserved Meyer Lemons”

  1. Wandering Chopsticks Says:

    How could you talk of preserved lemons and not mention chanh muoi? *Gasp* ;)

    The Michael Richards method seems closer to VNese, except I boiled the salt with the water. When the hot water is poured into the jars, it acts to seal it. I cut mine in half too b/c it wouldn’t fit in the jar, but otherwise, I think most VNese leave the lemons whole.

  2. Warda Says:

    Those are absolutely gorgeous! Lovely pictures Christine. I am happy I could help, and Mo too ;) I wish you will like them. They should be ready when you’ll get back. You will have vinegar and lemons confits waiting for you. Gosh! Do you want me to go check on them, or to water your plants for you? :)

  3. holybasil Says:

    Wandering Chopsticks –
    Ha! I thought I could get away with that one :) Actually, I remembered only after I had already clicked “Publish.” Arghh. I’ve been seeing a lot of those yellowish, “sweet limes” at the market and I might have to try preserving those too for my other favorite drink (Soda Chanh Muối).

    Salut Warda –
    Thanks to YOU for all your help. I’ll have to bug you for a recipe to use my first citron confit! And come to think of it, I do have a few plants that need watering and snow that needs shoveling…. :)

  4. Jen Says:

    Those lemons are precious. I loooooove Meyer lemons. Poo. The smell of the oils on your hands after cooking with them is so beautiful. I’ve never had preserved lemons, but read about them a lot. Although, if I were to score Meyer lemons out here in the sticks, I’m not sure I could preserve them – those quantities are hard to come by for me ;) Can’t wait to see what you do with them. Yum!!!

  5. Shayne Says:

    I have never had preserved lemons, I bet they are great.

  6. White On Rice Couple Says:

    Oh, great minds think alike!:)
    We are very much in the meyer lemon mood too and will be posting a meyer lemon marmalade next week. Your mention is tagines is great! We haven’t had that in a while.

  7. holybasil Says:

    Jen – If preserved lemons are on your okay to eat list, please let me know and I’ll send you a small jar – for reals!

    Shayne – They’re wonderful and I’ll have to make a potluck dish with them next time we meet :)

    WhiteonRice- Ooooh, I love meyer lemon marmalade. I love it more than orange marmalade. If I can still get a hold of some more meyers, I’ll have to make some.

  8. mycookinghut Says:

    Preserved lemons….. good idea for Tagine…. :)

  9. holybasil Says:

    Mycookinghut – Thanks!

  10. Jen Says:

    Oh girl, you’re so sweet. I don’t know if it’s on my list – probably not is my guess. Not to worry, though. I may have to try making this next year! :) xxoo

  11. holybasil Says:

    Jen – remind me next year if you can’t find any good meyers in your neck o’ the woods and I’ll ship some to you – ’cause we need to get serious here :)

  12. maybelle's mom Says:

    Beautiful pictures–and great post. I love preserved lemon. I just used some of the preserved in salad dressing and on couscous. Honestly, sometimes, I sneak into the pantry and nibble on them. Yum.

  13. holybasil Says:

    Maybelle – Thanks! I think constantly nibbling on them is what I’d have to try not to do!

  14. marilee Says:

    I have never tried this, but I am going to do it. Your pictures are beautiful and this sounds so good!!


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