Moroccan Preserved Lemons


  • 6 lemons, about 1 3/4 pounds
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • One 1-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the lemons, return the water to a boil, and cook 3 minutes. Drain, drop the lemons into cold water, changing it once or twice to cool the lemons; drain again and dry.
  2. Stand the lemons on end and cut lengthwise nearly into quarters so that they open out but remain attached at one end. Spread each open and sprinkle liberally with the salt; close it up and pack it in a wide-mouth 2-quart preserving jar, or two 1-quart jars, pressing to squeeze out some of the juice. Continue with the remaining lemons. Add the spices to the jar (or jars), along with the remaining salt, and pour in fresh boiling water up to the top. Wait until all the bubbles have risen, then seal and sterilize.
  3. Store at least 1 month in a cool, dry place.
  4. To use, rinse the lemons and quarter, slice, or chop them with or without the pulp.
  5. Refrigerate after opening.

Yield: 6 preserved lemons

Source: A Feast of Fruits