Recipe: Pickled Lemons or Limes

preserved lemons with salt

Preserved citrus can be added to marinades, stews and Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes.

Words: Jane Wrigglesworth

Preserved lemons are easy to make and can be used in marinades, stews, and Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes. You can add other spices, such as black peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. As with other pickles, do not use salt with iodine as it can make the brine cloudy.

Nb: there are two lots of salt in this recipe.

Makes: 2 x 1 litre jars
Time: 60 minutes


8-10 lemons or 12-16 limes
½ cup coarse sea salt
1 litre water
⅔ cup coarse sea salt
2 bay leaves
lemon juice


1. Place unpeeled lemons in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Drain and dunk lemons in a bowl of cold water.

3. Trim the ends of each lemon. Cut into quarters, but only cut three-quarters of the way down, so the fruit is intact at one end.

4. Rub the first measure of salt onto exposed lemon flesh.

5. Pour water and the second lot of salt into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir to dissolve the salt. Set aside to use as brine in Step 6.

6. Pack lemons into sterilised jars, pushing down if necessary, to fit well. Add a bay leaf to each jar, then top up with the salt brine. If needed, top up jars with extra lemon juice (or lime juice if pickling limes) so that the fruit is covered.

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7. Seal jars and keep in a cool spot for 4-6 weeks before using.



NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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