I was a little intimidated to try and make these the first time because you are putting a jar of lemons and juice in a cabinet for a month and hoping for the best. However, I figured out a recipe which works consistently. Now, when the grocery store has a sale on lemons or my trees start busting out the fruit, I can them and it is an incredible treat.
Use them in salads, pair with meats or fish, cook in tagines or use as a cake base.
6-12 lemons depending on their size and the size of the jar
1 c salt
2 3″ cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom pods
5 whole star anise
8 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
Sterilize a mason jar. You can do this by boiling water and filling the jar to the brim then allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. Pour out the water and allow to air dry. In a small bowl, cover the lid and ring with boiling water and allow to sit for up to 10 minutes.
Wash and dry the lemons. Cut off the end with the stem. Slice the lemons in half. Use a juice press to squeeze the juice into the mason jar saving the pressed lemons. Add all the spices except the salt.
Once you have at least 6 lemons juiced, slice the halves, leaving the last 3/4″ of the base attached. Remove the seeds. Rub each of the lemon halves with a good amount of salt (1/2-1 T a lemon) and shove the lemons into the jar. Pack as many salt rubbed lemons into the jar as possible, making sure they are covered with the lemon juice. If you need more juice, squeeze another lemon to get the juice to the top of the jar. DO NOT ADD WATER.
Wipe the salt and juice off the rim of the jar and place the lid on tight.
Keep the jar in a cabinet for 3-4 weeks. Your lemons will then be ready to use.
If a white “slime” appears, you can remove this before using the lemons. It is harmless. I only had this happen once, most of the time, the lemons turn out wonderfully!