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!
CITRON CONFIT – PRESERVED MEYER LEMONS:
adapted from Warda of 64sqftkitchen
- 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)
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.
Check out these blogposts:
How to Make Preseved Lemons from Simply Recipes
Soda Chanh Muối from Wandering Chopsticks