Preserved lemon peel

I've been using preserved lemon peel in my cooking for a bit over a year now and I love it. I use it in salads, stuffed in chicken before roasting, in risottos, pastas, any kind of seafood dish and my personal favourite - grilled with haloumi cheese (oh yum!).

But it wasn't until I was reaching out to buy another jar of preserved lemon peel at the shops when it occurred to me that I could probably make my own. For a lot less than $10 a jar. So i promptly put the bottle back on the shelf and bought a bag of lemons instead.
The recipe I used came from here. But seeing as I was trying this for the first time, I made only a very small batch - using 4 lemons to be exact. You know, just in case it turned out horribly wrong.

But I can safely (and proudly) say that this recipe works a treat. In fact, I daresay the homemade preserved lemon peel tastes even better than the store bought ones - they're lemony, yes, but much mellower with less bitterness and tartness. It actually imparts a slightly sweet taste, with a hint of saltiness. Oh, it is so delightful, I can eat it on its own! (I could never do that with fresh lemons)
Recipe adapted from here, quantities adjusted to fill a 400g pasta jar

Preserved lemon peel

Ingredients

4 whole lemons
1/2 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons table salt
1 cup of water

Method

1. Wash the lemons thoroughly.

2. With a sharp knife, cut the lemons lengthwise into quarters from the flower end without cutting all the way through the stem end so the four quarters are still attached at the base (as pictured).
3. In a large bowl stir together 1/4 cup of sugar and all the salt. Add the lemons and toss to coat, making sure the mixture also coats the centre of each lemon. Cling wrap the bowl and refrigate for 30 days, stirring occasionally.

4. After 30 days, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugar melts. Remove from the heat and set aside. 
5. Remove the lemons from the sugar-salt mixture. Place them in another saucepan of enough cold water to cover them completely and bring the water to a boil. Drain off the water and repeat with more cold water for a total of 4 boilings and changes of water. 
6. Drain again and add the lemons to the pan of sugar syrup from step 4. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, let the lemons cool in the syrup, and then remove and discard everything but the yellow-colored outer rind of the peel. 
7. Pack the preserved lemon peel in a jar (sterilised in boiling water before using) and keep refrigerated in the syrup covered.

48 Responses to Preserved lemon peel

Sarah S. said...

Interesting! I have never cooked anything with Preserved Lemon Peel before. You mentioned a few options, I would love to know the recipe of your favorite ;)

Chai Chen said...

Wow! Cool! Very informative. I believe the food that comes after will be more delicious! :)

~Chai
http://chenmeicai.blogspot.com
http://lookbook.nu/chenmeicai
http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/2957855
http://www.nuffnangx.com/user/hJK222B

sonia de macedo said...

I've never used preserved lemon but have a ton of Moroccan recipes that call for it so I might give this a try, it may even motivate me more to finally try out those recipes.

SDMxx
www.daringcoco.com

Courtney Starr said...

Oh wow! I have to try this

girlavantgarde.com

Alice said...

Wow! Impressive. I would never have thought to try this myself. x

Arni @ Travel Gourmande said...

Great post. I've never tried cooking with it before. I'd love to a homemade version.

Ellen Arthur said...

ooooh I am scared to use stuff like that but my parents have a lemon tree so while I'm on holidays over here I might just make some :)
Ellen xx

Sarah Jane said...

I've never tasted Preserved Lemon Peel before. Perhaps I have been missing out on something! I must seek it out next time we shop...or perhaps have a go at making it myself!
Thanks for sharing
xo

Juanita said...

Now I am curious about the taste these lemons add to the cooking. Will have to give it a try, next time.

Anouka said...

A great idea! Never thought of adding lemon preserves to meals. Thanks for sharing.

LUXESSED

Hanna & Christel said...

looks good!

<3

Style by Bruno said...

From the looks of it it is fantastic
Follow each other?

Patricia González Fernández said...

i love it =)
i'll try it!

http://thefantasticfashionworld.blogspot.com.es/

Becca @ The Beauty Sample said...

You never cease to impress me, Trishie! These look amazing! My brother loves preserved lemon so I will have to try this recipe out for him sometime! :D

Sam said...

I've always wanted to try cooking with preserved lemon, i've noticed that it is popular in moroccan cuisine. thanks for the recipe...is it possible that you could please share some recipe ideas on how to use them?

Shirley Tay said...

Hey Tris, how clever of u! I've never tried making my own preserves. Maybe I should start thinking since X'mas is near :)

Paulina said...

Mmm looks great !:)

matr0sha said...

Hello Dear! I like your blog so much! Would you like to follow each other?

Steph @ this brown wren said...

Oh yum! Thanks so much for sharing!! I've always wanted to give these a whirl so now here is the nudge I needed. Wishing you the loveliest of Thursdays.
Steph :) x
thisbrownwren.blogspot.com

Catherine said...

I've never tried preserved lemon before but often get given many by my parents I might have to give this a try next time I get given some lemons. Lovely photos too Trishie.

Mira said...

I really have to try this <3
xo

glamDevils

Sofie said...

oh cool! :)

little t said...

I'd say this is amazing in salads- thanks for the recipe, I'll try it out!

rooth said...

I thought this was going to start out easy but it actually looks quite complicated to make... I've actually never tried preserved lemon before

Issa Tchieu said...

hw innovative to try it out on ur own. and wats best is feeling all proud abt what u achieved at the end of the process.. WELL DONE :) Must feel really good. and of cos TASTE REALLY GOOD jus looking at the pictures. :)

becca said...

you are so resourceful and good in the kitchen! dang, I need to learn more from ya.

Sofia Bergkvist said...

Such an awesome idea, might make some as christmas presents! :) Thanks for a great blog!

xx

www.lescoupsdecoeur.com

Princess Xinni said...

Hey beautiful blog!
HOpe you´ll check out mine
and if you want we can follow each other &
on bloglovin too.
xoxo
<3

Camila Faria said...

To think I've been tossing out lemon peels all my life! Great tip!

Sam said...

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your style insight!

Gracie said...

This only makes me realise how I need to learn to cook. I like that you decided to try making it yourself.

Tania said...

Oh yum! Most definitely will try this when I come across some good lemons (my mum just moved into a house with a lemon tree, they are so hard to grow where I am)

circleofchaos said...

Wonderful recipe.*_*
Maybe follow each other on BLOGLOVIN and GFC???
My Blog

Kei said...

I am drooling as I read this post! what a great recipe! I wish I had more time to cook...I feel like I need to venture more for my recipes. :)

xo
osmiuminlove.blogspot.com

lizchewy said...

Making your own preserved lemon peel is a great idea. I am sure it is a much healthier option without all the additives and preservatives and what not.

Liz
chewylove.blogspot.com

Lucent Imagery said...

I made some preserved lemons a couple of months ago! My mother in law loved them. I did leave one batch in a jar too long and it had too much air in and developed an *interesting* looking fungus thingy! Obviously we didn't eat that one!

cquek said...

These look fabulous! a wonderful modern take on a classic.

Erica said...

I never thought to save lemon peels like that. I always like a bit of citrus in my food. I'll have to give this a try. :)

Marsa said...

what kinds of foods do you use the lemon for? i'm always looking for new recipes :)

happyleeliving.blogspot.com

helen said...

so pretty! my mom used to do this all the time, but i never had the guts to wait so long for them to preserve. now i want to try though, because you make it look so simple and your pictures are beautiful!

Katherine / Of Corgis and Cocktails said...

mmmm i've never heard of this but it sounds brilliant

<3 katherine
of corgis and cocktails

Gillian said...

I have never made, bought or cooked with preserved lemons, but something tells me I am missing out- they look and sound divine. And they would make a great gift too.

Stephanie said...

What a creative cook!

http://fashionroll.net

Angelica Ng said...

Lemon peel? I've actually never heard of poeple preserving that before. I love lemons, but never really thought about the peel!

http://red-soledfashionista.blogspot.com/

look see said...

I'd love to do this one day! P.S. I have the same yellow knife - were knife twins (that sounds weird, doesn't it?!)

Yanira Michelle said...

This looks delicious! I'll have to try it out :)

Jenee C. said...

Oooh what a great idea! These would make excellent christmas presents too.

xx Jenee C.
{camo meets couture}

Stephanie G said...

gotta try this - they seem to always in the mediterranean recipes i want to make and seems easy enough ;) photos are brilliant as always!

steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com