Preserve, Part II

Really, this is very easy.  So easy I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking.  Ready, here we go.

 1) Juice several of your backup lemons. I usually need about one lemon per jar, and in this case I’m doing 5 jars.

2) Cut the tips off your Meyer lemons (optional, but it feels tidy to do it).

3) Cut your Meyer lemons almost all the way into quarters (cut most of the way through the lemon, leaving just enough to hold them together at the bottom).  Don’t panic if you slip, you can still use them.  Just aim for them to stay together.

4) Drop in 1 lemon into a clean jar (I run mine through the sanitize cycle in my dishwasher right before I use them), then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on top.

5) Keep going (lemon, salt, lemon, salt, lemon, salt). Squash it down after each lemon.  This is after three lemons. It is not full enough yet.

6) Even though it looks impossible, shove in one more lemon. The lemons should protrude slightly over the lip of the jar.  For me, with pint jars, 4 really is the right number every time. 

7) Pour in some of your extra lemon juice from your backup lemons to fill up the extra spaces.  Figuring out just how much to put in is a trick.  You want it just full enough that a tiny bit of juice leaks out when you screw on the cap (meaning there is as little air as possible in the jar).  If you don’t spill a bit, you didn’t use enough. 

8) Stand back and admire your industry.  Let them sit on the counter (flip them over once a day or so) for a week.  After that, top the jars up with extra lemon juice if needed, and pop them in the fridge.  They’re ready to use after about a month, and they keep more or less forever (read, a year or so at least).