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Jan 20, 2009 10:04 AM

Salt cured/pickled lemons

just before Christmas I got a really good buy on lemons and decided to salt cure them;
they've been in the lemon juice/kosher salt brine now for 33 days, being faithfully turned daily; I have recipes to use them, know to discard the pulp and rinse the peels; but how do I store them? can I slice and freeze them? some sites call for repacking in water or oil; or can I just leave in the salt/lemon juice and store in the refrigerator ? there are 10 or 12 lemons squashed into a widemouth quart jar; I suspect it will take me a long time to use them up- unless I share with friends. ( if they're good) - they look very pretty.

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  1. I just keep them in the fridge. I don't keep track of how long, but I have some now that are over 2 months old. They tend to get softer over time, but they never have gone bad.

    As for how long can you store them? Who knows? I found one site that says up to 6 months. Another quotes Paula Wolfort as saying up to 1 year. But how do they know? Did someone sample a batch every month and get sick or disgusted at 7, but someone else thought they were ok until 13 months?

    And don't throw away that brine. Mix it with some fresh lemon juice to cover the next batch. When I'm down to 2 or 3 lemons I cut and salt about 8 or 10 fresh lemons, let them sit in salt for a day or two, then they go into a new jar (don't rinse them or brush off the excess salt). Put the old lemons on top and add the juice of 2 or 3 fresh lemons. Finally, top off with the old brine.

    1. They will last almost indefinitely if you leave them in the salt and store them in the fridge. I used to work at an Italian restaurant that made them in huge lexans and used out of the same container for months.

      1. Thank you both! think this weekend will be the first 'taste' test!

        1. Yeah - whatever you do don't take them out of the brine. That's what preserves them. I suppose freezing them will help preserve them longer, but it's probably not necessary.

          In fact, these are referred to as preserved lemons as opposed to "salt cured/pickled lemons." If you search around on Google, you'll certainly find far more ideas and info by using the term preserved lemons.

          By the way you don't necessarily need to discard the pulp... The most common dish you will

          1 Reply
          1. re: HaagenDazs

            That's odd - looking back I notice my post was cut short. Anyway, what I was saying was The most common dish you will find mentioned is probably chicken tagine with preserved lemons and often olives.

          2. I just made a jar of these following instructions from Cooking at the Kasbah by Ktty Morse. She indicates that they will last up to 6 months in the fridge if covered by the brine. Let me know how you use them - I'm still trying to decide what to do first!