Friday, December 23, 2005

Preserved Lemon Recipe - Moroccan Preserved Lemon.

The View From Fès has had several emails asking about Moroccan cuisine and particularly how to make Moroccan Preserved Lemons. Every woman I know in Fès seems to have her own variation of this recipe - ranging from simple salt and lemons through to a variety of added spices. The recipe here is the one Samir has used for years, The lemons last for about one year. If they get a white jelly-like substance after a few months... don't worry. The lemons will still be fine. Remember to rinse them well before using. This is important as they can be far too salty if you forget to do this.

Also, some of my fellow cooks discard the pulp and only use the rind in recipes - up to you, but if you are doing a large leg of goat or lamb, consider using the entire preserved lemon (after rinsing).


Take each lemon and slice it in four, but without making the cut all the way through. Then, holding the lemon open, coat each portion with salt. I know this sounds strange, but iodised salt is best as lack of iodine is causing problems world wide and a lot of so-called fancy salts lack iodine.

Place a tablespoon or so of salt in the bottom of a clean preserving jar and place the lemons in - squashing them down as you go. as you fill it up, add a couple more tablespoons of salt.
Now - for added flavour try adding a couple of cinnamon sticks, four or five cloves, a sprinkle of coriander seeds, a couple of bay leaves and eight or nine black pepper corns.

Next, fill the jar to the top with lemon juice and seal tightly.
Leave it in a mildly warm dark space for about five or six weeks, turning over every few days.

Once you open it, keep it in a refrigerator or very cool space. You can add a new lemon plus salt and juice from time to time.

See all our Moroccan recipes here: MOROCCAN MENU!




hale said...

Nice photos - always enjoy seeing pictures like these. Thanks for posting them.


RedShoes said...

Recipe for Rose Jam

Yes! Trust the French to be thinking of food even when planting roses!
When you plant roses in your garden, make sure that you choose the right roses with which to make excellent jam. The recommended roses are "Rose a parfum de l'Haye", "Caprice de Meilland", "Baron Girod de l'Ain" -- as these roses keep their aroma and thus flavour in the cooking process.

Recipe for rose jam:

500 gr rose petals
750gr sugar
four lemons with pips

Leave the petals to soak in water for three days.
Make jam as per usual

As Samir pointed out to me that not everyone has a method, here is my method for jam making:

Jam making:
1. Leave the petals to soak in water for three days.
2. Usually one uses the same amount in weight of 'fruit' and sugar - (and the weight measurements should be exact, as that can be the reason for success or failure!), but for this recipe we use 500gr with 750gr sugar.
3. Put the rose petals and sugar into a heavy casserole.
3. Slice the lemons in four or five thick slices and add to the pot. It is important to leave the pips in for the pectin content.
4. Cover and bring to a simmer over a medium heat until the sugar is melted.
5. Transfer into a large dish (use either glass, ceramic or earthenware) and cover the surface with a sheet of wax or parchment paper.
6. Let it cool at room temperature and then put it in the fridge and leave overnight.
7. The next day, cool a saucer in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
8. Carefully wash your glass jars as well as their lids and then soak them in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Set them out to dry upside down on a clean kitchen towel.
9. Return the rose petal/sugar/lemon mixture to a casserole and once again, bring to simmer. Let it simmer for five minutes, stirring very gently with a clean wooden spoon. You can remove the foam which forms on top as it make for clearer jam. (A wonderful suggestion is to use this foam to sweeten plain yoghurt and serve it with scones!)
10. Take the saucer out of the freezer and pour a drop of jam on it. Tilt the saucer: if the drop stays put, the jam is ready. If it is still liquid, simmer for another minute or two.

(I always remember my childhood days --- when my mother made jam, this was my favourite moment. A hush descended over the entire household as the saucer was removed from the freezer, the wooden spoon was dipped into the simmering mixture and then hung suspended over the saucer until one perfect gem dropped onto the white saucer, glistening there like a precious jewel. And then the bated breath as the saucer was tilted : -- the moment of truth --- would the jewel remain intact and beautiful, reflecting our own shining expectant faces, or would it slide down, leaving a sugary trail of colour behind it.........Ah! Such were the moments of drama in my mother's kitchen!)

11. When it is ready, remove what is left of the lemon slices and the lemon pips and spoon the jam carefully into the prepared jars almost to the top. -- I always put a piece of wax paper, cut to size, over the surface before putting the lids on. Wipe the edges carefully if there was any spillage and close the lids very tightly. Let the jars cool upside-down at room temperature, and then store in a cool and dark place.

Amaze your friends!