Lavender's Green Preserved Lemons
Makes ten 330g jars
When lemons are in season make a batch of the famous Lavender's Green preserved lemons to use throughout the year.
- 2.5kg organic, spray-free Meyer lemons
- 1.5kg water
- 450g salt
- 10 cloves
- 10 chillies
- 10 bay leaves
- 10 star anise
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 150°C
Wash the jars in hot, soapy water and rinse them. Place them onto a tray and sterilise them in the oven for 15 minutes at 150°C.
Place the matching number of lids in a jug and cover them with boiling water.
Hold them in this water until needed and then drain them.
Sort the lemons and choose perfect ones, then wash them in warm water.
Gather up the spices and have them ready.
Bring a 10kg pot of water to the boil and tip the lemons, gently, so as not to splash yourself with boiling water, then cover them with a lid.
Blanch the lemons for one minute then scoop them out with a sieve and place in a bowl.
Put a small cutting board inside a baking tray, to catch all the juice from the lemons as you cut them.
Now, start filling the jars with the lemons and spices. Start by placing a small quarter teaspoon of smoked paprika and one clove into each jar, add a splash of boiling water to dissolve the paprika.
Cut one small half lemon around its middle and place it, cut side down, on the bottom of the jar.
Place another 4 - 6 quarters around the edge of the jar, skin side facing out and interspersing one star anise, one bay leaf and one chilli evenly between the lemons, as you go.
Leave enough space in the jar for the brine to fill the gaps and to overflow.
Fill all the jars with lemons before you proceed with the next step.
In another saucepan, add the water and salt, mix well, and bring to the boil.
When the brine boils start pouring it into each filled jar, then place one last quarter of a lemon in.
After about a minute, go back to the first jar and press gently on the lemons with a skewer to release any air bubbles and then top up with more boiling brine. Place the lids on immediately.
Have a sink filled with hot soapy water and place the lidded jars upside down into this water to scrub off the salt residue, particularly under the lids.
When clean leave the jars to dry, polish the lids and label when cold. Attach the 'best before' date - two years from date of making.
Store the jars in a cool, dark cupboard and hold for one month to mature before using.