Lemon Preserve or Citrons confits a la marocaine

 

I found this recipe in a Moroccan cook book and it works really well.

 

10 lemons

480 grammes of rock salt

1 litre of boiling water

Juice of one lemon

8 whole cardamom

2 small red chilli (optional)

2 bay leaves (optional)

a little olive oil

1 large or 2 medium size pickling jars.

 

Wash the 10 lemons well then put them in a big bowl of water for three days. Change the water daily, this will rid the lemons of the gas and acids contained in the fruit. Take the lemons out of the water on day three and pat dry. Then take a sharp knife and cut the lemon in four without quite reaching either end, thus leaving the lemon whole.

 

Holding the lemons one by one over a large bowl fill the open cracks of the lemon generously with the salt, then put the lemon is a large pickling jar. Continue this process with the rest of the lemons.

 

Cover the lemons in the jar with boiling water, put in the remaining salt and any lemon juice that came out in the bowl, add the juice of one lemon, the cardamom and bay leaves, add the chilli if you want a more spicy preserved lemon.

 

Once all air bubbles have gone just film the surface with olive oil. Close the lid hermetically, then leave for a month before using the lemons.