UnCanny — preserved lemons for the can jam
I’m participating in this can jam courtesy of Tigress in a Jam. The challenge is to use the appointed (seasonal) fruit/veg each month in some canned good and to post the results during the appointed week for all to see. 140 people are signed up to participate so I’m excited to see what everyone has been up to!
For January we were to use citrus. Unfortunately, though this is citrus season, it isn’t something that can survive NY winters so I settled for buying a large bag of beautiful organic lemons. I’ve wanted to make preserved lemons for ages — since I got back from Morocco and started making pretty tasty tagine — so this was the perfect opportunity.
The recipe I used came from Arabesque – a beautiful recipe book that was given to me by Sarah and Nilay last year. Everything I have made from there turns out great. I heartily recommend the lamb tagine, and the knafe is out of this world (its a simple pastry with shredded phyllo and mozzarella/ricotta topped with syrup and nuts, so decadent and good).
Anyway, back to the lemons, its hardly a recipe, basically you just cut them into quarters but without cutting all the way through so the piece are still attached, salt them with about one tablespoon of salt each, put them in the jars and wait a few days. Once the lemons have released their juices and softened up you add enough lemon juice to cover them and seal up the cans. Then, the hard part, I need to wait a few months before I can eat them… but as soon as I do I’m going to make chicken with preserved lemons and I’ll post the photos right here!
**Update: from what I understand it isn’t necessary to process the cans. But there is a fair amount of conflicting information on various online sources about all this. Some people say just store in a cool place and then refrigerate after opening. Others claim the cans should be immediately refrigerated. And some people say you should hot water process after them after a period of about 5-10 days to extend their pre refrigeration shelf life. I was going to put my faith in the preservative powers of salt and acid and just leave them in the pantry (aka the pile of cans in our hallway) but it turns out if I did that I wasn’t going to be allowed to participate in the can jam and that made me sad. So I decided to go with plan c and I got up extra early this morning and processed them for 10 minutes. The good news is that this should soften up the skins and make them ready to eat sooner, tagine next week I think!!**
Another update: used the lemons in this chicken tagine and it was amazing