Preserved Lemons

preserved lemons
  • Yield : 1 litre
  • Prep Time : 5m
  • Cook Time : 5m
  • Ready In : 0m

The recipe

This is a lactic acid fermentation process using salt, which inhibits the activity of yeast. Preserved Lemons can be used in casseroles and tagines to add a wonderful lemony sourness which you wouldn’t get with fresh lemon juice and you can eat the skins as they are soft.

Preserved Lemons also go well with Indian recipes, adding a lovely yellow colour to the dish.

This method can also be used to preserve limes, oranges or other citrus fruits.  It is really satisfying making your own and they taste and look better than any I have bought in a shop.


  • 1kg lemons, unwaxed
  • 9 tbsp salt
  • boiling water


Step 1

Sprinkle 2 tbsp salt into the bottom of a clean 1 litre preserving jar (or jam jars with waxed lids).

Step 2

Cut the lemons into quarters lengthwise, leaving them attached at the bottom. Remove the seeds and rub most of the remaining salt into the lemons and then, one at a time, place them into the jar, pressing them down firmly so that the juice is forced out of them and they are submerged under brine.

Step 3

Squeeze the juice of another lemon over the top and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Top up with boiling water to cover the lemons if necessary, as they need to be submerged.

Step 4

Leave them to ferment for 3-4 weeks until the lemon skins have softened and then keep them in the fridge. If they are stored for longer a lacy white film may appear on the top of the jar or on the lemons, but this is harmless and you can rinse it off.

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