Preserved oranges and lemons

Preserved oranges and lemons

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

Intensely citrusy with a sharp, salty burst, preserved oranges and lemons are a wonderful seasoning to have in your larder. Chop with dill, parsley and pine nuts for a pesto to serve with vegetables, blend with fresh chilli for a sauce to serve with fish, or chop fine and stir through cooked grains – pilaf, for example.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6-8 unwaxed oranges or lemons, (use blood or Seville oranges if you like)
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients, coarse sea salt per fruit

Method

  1. Wash and sterilize a 500ml Kilner jar.
  2. Wash the fruit under running water and dry. If the fruit is waxed, wash it under hot running water and scrub it firmly with a clean wire brush.
  3. Cut each fruit almost in half vertically, then almost halve it again, making an X shape down the fruit but keeping the base intact.
  4. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of coarse salt into a cut orange or lemon and place the salt-filled fruit in the sterilized jar.
  5. Continue until you have prepared all the fruit and filled the jar with the salted fruit. Press the fruit down firmly in the jar to extract some of the juice. Put the lid on the jar and leave for a few hours or overnight.
  6. Press the fruit down firmly again, extracting more juice. The fruit will have started to soften.
  7. Leave the jar somewhere cool and dark for at least 4 weeks. Turn the jar upside down every couple of days or so. If the top fruits in the jar remain exposed, add more orange or lemon juice to top the level up.
  8. Once the fruits are completely soft, they are ready to use. Once opened, you must store the fruit in the fridge. It will keep for upwards of a year.

Note

  • To use preserved lemons and oranges, remove the required amount of fruit from the jar, rinse under cold running water and pat dry. Split the fruit in half, then scrape out and discard the pulp. Slice the preserved peel into thin strips or cut into small dice for use.
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