Moroccan Preserved Lemons

Remember all those lemons I picked at Wheat’s Aunt’s house?

Lemons Upon Lemons | Oysters & Pearls

Including these tiny orange lemon hybrids that we don’t know the name of.  Whatever they are, they are delicious!  In case anyone is a citrus expert out there – they are small and round, with numerous large seeds inside.  They aren’t quite as tart as your average lemon, either.  Lemon Hybrids | Oysters & Pearls

Anyway, I had my work cut out for me.  Every year for the past couple years, I’ve juiced a ton of lemons from my Grandmother and from Wheat’s aunt and frozen the juice to use year round.  This year, I started zesting the lemons before juicing them and freezing the zest, too.  Last year when I set about making lemon cheese/curd, I realized that I needed lemon zest, not just juice.  #problemsolved #thisiswhywehadtobuyasecondfreezer

I have plans to make homemade limoncello too, but first up was some Moroccan preserved lemons, a la this piece on NPR.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons | Oysters & Pearls

Moroccan Preserved Lemons Recipe


– lemons, washed and scrubbed
– Kosher salt (one teaspoon per small lemon, one tablespoon per large lemon)
– freshly squeezed lemon juice to cover lemons


This was quite possibly the easiest preserving technique I’ve ever used.  You simply slice the lemons into quarters, but leave the stem end intact.  Open the lemon up and tip the salt into the center (one tablespoon for a large Meyer, one teaspoon for a teeny orange-lemon).  Repeat until your jar is packed tight, smushing them down as necessary.  Let them sit in the fridge for a few days.  They will release some of their juices in this time.  Then, pour enough freshly squeezed lemon juice over the lemons to cover them.  Leave them in the fridge for at least a month before using them for cooking.

To use them, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse it off.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons  | Oysters & Pearls

Okay, serious question.  I’ve read that you should remove the pulp before using the lemons, and I’ve also read that the pulp is just fine to eat… any advice on this?  Personally, I feel like it would be a travesty to waste all that delicious pulp.  I’ve now said “pulp” so many times it sounds weird.
Also: any tips on what to use the leftover salty lemon juice for?  I foresee cocktail suggestions in the comments.  But that could just be wishful thinking.

Moroccan Preserved Orange-Lemons | Oysters & Pearls

I did some Meyer lemons covered in Meyer lemon juice, and I did some orange-lemons/whatchamacallits covered in orange-lemon juice.  I also did one giant jar (pictured) of orange-lemons covered in Meyer lemon juice.  Only time will tell if this will make a difference whatsoever.

Moroccan Preserved Meyer Lemons | Oysters & Pearls

I am mildly obsessed with how pretty they are.  And easy as pie to make!  Wait… can I make a pie with them…?

Moroccan Preserved Orange-Lemons  | Oysters & Pearls

Mmmmkay.  Now it’s your turn to talk to me.  What’s your favorite way/recipe to use Moroccan preserved lemons?  Do you use the pulp?  Do you use the juice?  Can I put booze in it?

You know, the really important questions in life.

Until Next Time

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4 thoughts on “Moroccan Preserved Lemons

  1. Windy Taylor

    The answer to most questions, I’ve found, is “yes, you can put booze in that.”

    If it was me in my bar/laboratory, I might add the lemon juice to a whiskey sour. Or to a bloody mary.

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