Easy Preserves for the holidays… Lemon Confit

Back to preserving – options for local are diminishing so we’ll do the odd batch of something special – there will be 3 or 4 things made in the next month or so which will be part of our late December and early January celebrations with family and friends.  Todays batch is lemon confit – some of which may end up within our Turkey stuffing or a salad.

I’ve never tried to make – or eat – lemon confit before.  But I am super excited and found the process a lot of fun.  It’s also the super easiest batch of preserves I’ve ever made.  The entire process is very fast – although a little on the pricey side (2 jars of salt for 1.5 lemons).  A different sized jar (a bigger opening to fit half-slices as recommended by my recipe) may have reduced the need for salt by some degree.

Easy Preserves for the holidays... Lemon Confit Salt Preserving Recipes October Lemon

1 clean jar (we used a 1.5 liter mason jar though any non-reactive jar would do, especially since this size is only available in Canada for the most part).
Lemons (clean)
Coarse salt

Cut lemons lengthwise (we had to quarter them to fit inside of the jar).  Place a piece in jar.  Cover each piece in salt (you don’t want the lemons touching  each other or the side of jar).

Place in a cool dark place 2-3 months (that is correct, no sealing needed).

Easy Preserves for the holidays... Lemon Confit Salt Preserving Recipes October Lemon

When it comes time to use them, pull them from the salt and rinse (they will be a darker color than when they went in).  Remove the pulp and pith and do what you will with the rind – mince, slice or shred.  Blanch in simmering water if using it uncooked.

I adore surprises and can’t wait to see what these look like coming out of the spa in a few months!  It’s fascinating to think about the chemical changes they are going through now as they are being dried by the salt and hands of time.

If you make some this weekend, it will be ready for late December and January – not local for us but a delectable treat.


  1. MMMMMMMMMMMM!!! This sounds so good. Do you think it would work with limes as well? If we don’t get together for a potluck brunch, then we hould get together for tea. I’ll keep with the lemon theme and bring lemon curd–super easy, super tasty, and I have discovered it makes for a nice filling for a pavlova.

  2. kiwiswiss says:

    We have a similar story with preserving lemons – our version used less salt, but a lot more lemons (cut 4 deep scores into each lemon, so that they almost fall into quarters and stuff with salt, place into jars and fill the spaces with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Make sure all covered). We’d never eaten lemons like this, but it sounded great and it is!!! Resulting lemons stuffed into fish, poultry, or yes, in a salad, the salty juice as a salad dressing. So many uses. We’ve eaten the whole of the lemon, the rind is tender (amazing). Wonder how it will be for you, with the absence of liquid. Looking forward to the update.

    That is one thing I love about preserving… the wait, the anticipation….

    … and limes would definitely work. All citrus really. That gives me an idea… oranges, grapefruit… oooooooh

  3. Caroline says:

    Wow, that is so much more salt than I do. My version, you REALLY pack the lemons in (using quarters cut the long way like pickles if need be.) You sprinkle a little salt on the inside, then a bunch more salt on the outside but they aren’t packed totally in salt at all. Then you add some extra lemon juice, and then in the first day or two, the lemons slump down into the salty lemon juice brine. They keep just fine (I think mine are a year old, because I don’t use them quickly, and still just fine), you don’t have to rinse them, and the brine is also useful (and not overly salted.)

    • Hi Caroline,

      Very neat! In truth, I’d probably make my version closer to yours these days – wish I could update some of our older posts. Both techniques will work just fine of course and I’m glad you use the salty brine – it’s my favorite part! Thanks for the comment! :) Joel


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