Meyer lemons: salted; three marmalades with orange flowers, rosemary and pomegranate molasses

Perfectly ripe Meyer lemons in their bath

Perfectly ripe Meyer lemons in their bath

The Co-op received a generous bag of perfectly ripe Meyer lemons.  These had to be processed right away, as they were at their peak and would spoil quickly.  A quick way to preserve lemons (or limes) is to make preserved lemons with salt, known variously as Moroccan preserved lemons or Indian lemon pickle.  You’ll find smallish jars with impressive prices at specialty stores, but it is so easy to make your own.  Wash thoroughly and slice off about 1/4″ at both ends.  Slice nearly through, but leave one end intact, a bit like an open flower.  Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of kosher salt in your clean jar, then sprinkle the open lemons with salt as you layer them in.  Push down forcefully to press them and extract juice so that the uppermost lemons are covered in juice, then sprinkle with more salt.  Close tightly, then let sit for 4 to 6 weeks.  Periodically shake the jar.  To use, simply rinse the lemons and finely chop the rind, and use instead of salt.  Add to couscous or rice, or add to stews and dips.  You’ll find lots of uses for anything seasoned with lemon and salt.

Meyer lemons simply preserved with salt and their own juice

Meyer lemons simply preserved with salt and their own juice

These lemons were also made into a marmalade base, using the standard citrus prep technique.

Citrus prep for marmalade, with a pectin bag for cores and seeds

Citrus prep for marmalade, with a pectin bag for cores and seeds

Using the golden 6 cup rule, 6 cups of the mix was cooked with sugar and then flavored.IMG_4753

For a tarter marmalade flavored with sprig of fresh rosemary in the jar, only 4 cups of sugar was added.  Pomegranate molasses is a tart addition, so 5 cups of sugar went into that batch.  When three tablespoons of orange flower water was added, the standard 6 cups of sugar, or 1:1 ratio worked well.  All are good and fun to try, but honestly, with a Meyer lemon base, just about anything tastes brilliant!

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