Preserved Lemons

Preserved lemons form the basis of some of the world's best dishes and every home cook should know how to make them! In winter there is plenty of citrus around and this is a great way to make use of the bounty!

Makes 2 x 500g jars  


  • 1kg lemons or limes (you may need extra for juicing, if your citrus is dry. The very juicy lemons or limes don’t need any extra juice)
  • 200g salt

In each jar

  • Spices of your choice – bay leaf, peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon, chilli, clove


Sterilise jars (instructions here) and let cool completely. Cut citrus into quarters (halves if very small). Put a tablespoon (20g) of salt into the bottom of each jar. Put a few layers of lemon or lime segments into the jar, pressing down as you go to release the juices.  

Sprinkle another layer of salt. Then add another layer of segments. Slide spices into the side of each jar. Repeat the lemon or lime layers and salt sprinkling until jar is full. Remember to keep pushing down as you go.

The fruit needs to be entirely covered in juice. If your fruit hasn’t released enough of their own juices, squeeze a few extra lemons or limes and pour juice over to cover.

Leave a 1cm of space from the top of the fruit to the lid. You don’t want the salty fruit touching the top of the lid. Seal and let sit in a cool dark place for 6 weeks.

You know your lemons or limes will be preserved when the salt has completely dissolved into a gel like liquid. Once opened, store in the fridge for up to a year.