I've written before about my beloved Meyer lemon tree that I keep at the wine shack. I love the fact that I am able to grow citrus in our decidedly non-citrus friendly climate. The smug satisfaction I get from vexing mother nature's natural tendencies is quite satisfying. Plus it fills the store with a head spinning citrus blossom smell when it is in full bloom. Best of all this time of year it provides a bounty of wonderfully scented little Meyer lemons for getting creative with.
This year with the first harvest I decided to do some preserved Meyer lemons for future braising needs. I found this recipe that in the Gourmet cookbook that is ridiculously easy. If you are not so fortunate to have your own tree then this is the season to get to your local market to grab these yellow orbs while they are in season. My next few lemons are going into a Meyer lemon marmalade, and I hope to have enough leftover to make a few of these sublimely fragrant Pear Brandy &Meyer Lemon Sidecars and maybe even a batch of this other wordly Meyer Lemon Risotto!
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Preserved Meyer Lemons
from the Gourmet Cookbook
Preserving a Meyer lemon captures its glorious perfume. We’ve adapted cookbook author Paula Wolfert’s quick method, our favorite, and made it even faster by blanching the lemons first. The rind of a preserved lemon is a common ingredient in Moroccan dishes; we also love it in all kinds of soups, stews, and salads and as a low-fat alternative to olives. Save the pulp for Bloody Marys or anything else enlivened by a little lemon juice and salt.
Yield: Makes 48 pieces
Active Time: 15 min
Total Time: 5 days
2 1/2 to 3 pounds Meyer lemons (10 to 12)
2/3 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Special equipment: 6-cup jar with tight-fitting lid
Blanch 6 lemons in boiling water 5 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut lemons into 8 wedges each and discard seeds. Toss with salt in a bowl and pack into jar.
Squeeze enough juice from remaining lemons to measure 1 cup. Add enough juice to cover lemons and cover jar with lid. Let stand at room temperature, shaking gently once a day, 5 days. Add oil and chill.
Cooks' note: Preserved lemons keep, chilled, up to 1 year.