Preserved Lemons

I love the bite of preserved lemon rind in my cooking. Most store bought and homemade versions are made with only lemons, salt and water. On the Internet, I found recipes with additional spices added to the brine and I said to myself, why not? I add cinnamon, coriander and other spices directly to my recipes that also use preserved lemons so why not season the lemons right from the start? So, today I will prepare homemade seasoned preserved lemons, and in 4 weeks when they are ready, I will do a taste comparison to my store bought variety.

5 lemons for preserving plus 2 extra lemons for juice
about 1/2 cup of Kosher salt
lemon juice
2 1/2 tablespoons each of black peppercorns and coriander
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves


Regular lemon on the left; Meyer variety on the right (and back)


Removed thick ends for better absorption.

Meyer Lemons are a good choice for preserving because of their thin skin but if you have lemons with not too thick a rind, they will also be fine. I chose to use 5 lemons because that is the maximum that I could pack into an available mason jar.  Make sure that your jar is sterilized; I ran my jar through the dishwasher and then poured boiling water in the jar and over the lid pieces and let them air dry.

Remove the 2 thick ends of each lemon and then quarter each lemon ALMOST to the bottom but keep the quarters attached!  Pack about 2 tablespoons of salt into each lemon as shown in the photo.IMG_0088Place an additional 2 tablespoons of salt into the empty mason jar.

 Place each lemon into the mason jar squeezing the juice out of each lemon as you pack them as tight as possible.  I squeezed the juice of the 2 additional lemons over the packed lemons. IMG_0089 Mix the spices together and sprinkle them over the lemons.  Fill the remaining space in the jar with cold water and close the lid tight.

Turn the jar upside down one or two times to disperse the spices and put in the fridge.  Continue to invert the jar once a day and back upright every day for 4 weeks….see you at the taste testing….IMG_0090



  1. thanks. sounds like a great idea.

  2. tessaflo · · Reply

    Can you add the extra spices to the store-bought preserved lemons?

    1. I think you can add the extra spices to the store-bought jar. I made the preserved lemons from scratch because a friend could not find them and I love trying new recipes!

  3. Look forward to hearing about the comparison in 4 weeks.

    1. Just another week to go!

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