Have you ever got a big bag of lemons only to have half of them end up turn moldy? Well, I have been there done that. Here are three ways to preserve fresh lemons for future use whenever needed.
How long does it keep?
Preserving, after all, is a way to keep the food from spoiling for a long time. Salt, sugar, and honey are traditional methods of preserving.
Some regions use salt to dry meat to use it in the winter times. Sugar also is used for preserving, mainly fruits, either in the form of jams or candy. Honey was also used on wounds to prevent them from infection.
Today we have refrigerators and freezer, so preserving lost its popularity. For folk who want to stay away from synthetic preservatives, these old recipes may come in handy.
They should keep well in a cool place for months, as long as you keep them air-tight and use a clean utensil at each use. When in doubt, keep them refrigerated. They will keep for at least four months. I can’t give you an exact answer since we finish them before that.
1) Honey lemons for your herbal teas
Imagine the days you got the flu or the cold and had no power to squeeze a lemon for your tea. This recipe made it so easy to add lemons with honey all at once to our teas.
- 4 lemon washed and dried
- 1/2 lb pure honey
- Slice the lemon into 1/8 inch slices.
- In a clean jar, stack the first three layers of lemon slices.
- Drizzle about one tablespoon of honey over it.
- Repeat the process, alternating between lemons and honey.
- Once all the lemons have been put it finish with a layer of honey. Make sure to leave a one- inch gap to the top of the jar.
- Close the lid shut. Leave it in a cool dark place for a few days. You will notice extra juice has formed.
- Add one slice or two to your cup of tea.
2) Sugar Lemons
This is very similar to the honey lemon, but using sugar instead. The resulting juice that comes out of this preserve is so delicious can add flavor to your water, cake batter, or other sacks.
- 4 lemons. washed and dried
- 1 cup raw sugar
- Slice the lemons into thin slices.
- In a clean jar, stack the first three layers then sprinkle some sugar over it.
- Repeat the process, alternating between the sugar and lemons.
- Make sure to leave a gap between the mouth of the jar and the lemons. This will prevent the overflow of the extra juices.
- Keep the jar aside in a cool dark place, for four days.
- Use the juices or the lemon slices in your hot or cold drinks. You can also flavor your cake batter with it.
3) Salt-preserved lemons
This one is mostly found in Moroccan tajine recipes. The lemons are split into quarters, leaving one end uncut through to hold the pieces together. Then coarse salt is generously inserted in between the wedges.
Then the lemons are packed tight in a clean jar. Shut the lid close and set it in a cool dark place for four weeks. After the time is over, the lemons will turn soft and easy to smash into a paste. The resulting juice will have a thick syrupy consistency.
What to consider when using salt?
The combination of salt and lemon juice might rust the metal lid or ring. When choosing the jar to store the salted lemons, try to use metal-free ones. Otherwise, keep the rim clean and dry after each use.
- 4 lemons, washed and dried
- 1/2 cup coarse salt
- Cut the lemons lengthwise into wedges, leaving one side not cut through to keep the wedges together.
- Sprinkle salt in between the wedges.
- Stuff a clean jar with the lemons as tight as possible.
- You may add some hot water or lemon juice to cover the lemons, but not neccessary.
- Close the jars air-tight and set it aside in a cool dark place for four weeks.
- Use a clean fork to get the needed amount. This will prevent cross-contamination and will keep your lemons longer.