Quick Bites from Pender

Salt Cured Meyer Lemons with Juniper – Exotic Preserved Citrus #3

In Kitchen Tips, Lessons From Cooking School, Recipes on February 8, 2010 at 5:03 am

organic meyer lemons, sweet limes and tangerines

Organic Meyer lemons, sweet limes and tangerines all in our little island grocery store, and all at once!  The universe was sending me a message, and it’s going to help me find a use for some of those cute jars I bought in a homemade gift container panic at London Drugs before Christmas.

And if you’re going to preserve some citrus, why not push a few boundaries and go exotic?


A little info about our final victim volunteer:  the Meyer lemon is most likely a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange.  Native to China, it was introduced to the United States in 1908 by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer.  The fruit has a fragrant edible skin with a slight orange tint when ripe . The Meyer’s juice is sweet and less acidic than its more common cousin — an ideal candidate for salt-curing!

And who doesn’t like a slice of lemon in their gin?  Do you see where I’m going here?


To preserve citrus, choose organic, unwaxed varieties that are ripe, firm and unblemished. Mix the spices into the salt.  I chose coarse salt — used for pickling and canning — because it’s additive free.  Cut a cross into the fruit about ¾ of the way to the base — but not all the way through — the quarters should stay together.

Push the seasoned salt into the quarters and pack the fruit as tightly as possible into an airtight jar. Use as much salt as you need to fill in the gaps, but go easy on the spices.  A little goes a long way.  I put one juniper berry inside each lemon, and then threw in a couple of extra into the jar.  That will be PLENTY.

Store in your fridge for 6 weeks, gently turning and flipping the jar 3 times per week to evenly distribute the salt and juices. Once preserved, the jars can be kept in a cool, dark place (cupboard).  Preserved lemons will keep at least 1 year.

Recipe Generator:

  • clam chowder with preserved Meyer lemon cream (works with Boston or Manhattan!)
  • salt-cured lemon and chili compound butter underneath the skin of a whole roasted chicken
  • preserved Meyer lemon Caesar salad dressing…or tzatziki…
  • Vodka Soda with salted Meyer lemon/juniper ice.
  • steamed new potatoes with fresh herbs and preserved lemon
  • sweeet onion relish with salt-cured Meyer lemon


Preservation bound (from left to right):  tangerines (with star anise), Meyer lemons (with juniper), sweet limes (with bay leaf & peppercorns).

  1. Wow, that looks great. Loved it.

  2. Been trying to get my hands on some Meyer lemons for a while now, but sadly, none are to be had where I am *sigh* Love the photos – just beautiful and using spices too? Brilliant! Great post.

  3. I just bought two 1 pound bags of organic limes at Capers-Whole Foods as they were a good price and perfect. Can’t decided what spices to use … may have to think what I want to use them in, might help decide this.

    Saw your photos of Whistler, made me homesick! Although I don’t miss the longer winters. Where did you eat?

    Thanks for the info. LA xx

  4. Lee Ann,

    I did a late night brainstorming to come up with a list of what I wanted to use the preserved citrus in…that helped me pair the aromatics…I was a little surprised to find the sweet limes, Meyer lemons and tangerines (all organic) at such a good price…they’re out of season, why are they so cheap? wondering…

    As for Whistler, we at at Araxis on the Friday night, and then opted for sushi at Sushi Village on Sat. Araxis was excellent, 4 courses definitely up to standard. SV was expectedly disappointing, but as we come from an island with no sushi, passable.

  5. I was always curious about how to make the preserved lemons, it sounds very simple. And it looks so pretty. Will definitely try soon.

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