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I’m taking matters into my own hands. After yesterday’s post, no one asked for a lesson in preserving their fruit. I’m deeply hurt. Just kidding. I’m going to teach you anyway. Because I love you. Even if you don’t love me. That’s just the way it is.

I saved this pickle jar. I’m so glad I did. Because it turned out to be a very useful preserving jar and I didn’t have to go buy a jar. Recycling in my very own kitchen. Amen.

Now, the true glory is how simple and cheap this is. A little kosher salt, some of your lemons hanging on your tree going to waste (you know who you are!) and a recycled pickle jar.

One does not need much more than this in life. Maybe just a pocket knife. And a rifle. And whiskey. And a bedroll. This plus your jar of lemons is all you need.

Add a good half inch or so of salt to the bottom of your jar and start slicing your lemons.

You can slice them horizontally or vertically, whichever way you want. Whatever suits your mood.

Begin packing them in snugly, adding salt in between the layers along the way so there is as little air space as possible.

Is that perfection or what? And the smell… oh my goodness you could resolve arguments with that smell.

I recommend investing in a lot of kosher salt. It will set you up for success in life. Bring it to an interview and see what I mean.

You can preserve just about anything with it. It’s glorious.

Now. This is my personal flair. Like in Office Space where the waitress had to have sixteen items of personal flair… well, this is mine. Star Anise. But you don’t have to have mine, you can have your own. Be unique. Express yourself. Use whatever the heck you want. Within reason. Stay within the boundaries of reason. I consider: thyme, cloves, and rosemary as examples of staying within the boundaries of reason. In case you were wondering.

Drop these babies in. Let them fall where they may.

Now add more salt.

Lots and lots of salt.

No air bubbles. Hit it against the counter to make sure.

Put the lid on ‘er and squeeze ‘er tightly.

Now, tuck the jar away in a dark cabinet for at least 1 month and watch what happens. Just watch. We’ll revisit these babies together soon. Just keep an eye on them and add more salt along the way if it gets too liquidy.

Here are some recipes you can use them in. But I say be creative and try them in your favorite fish and meat dishes, especially ones where you braise. The key is to make sure that you rinse them very well, remove the pith and use the rind in small dice or strips for an extra flair.


“Lemon Confit or Preserved Lemons”


  • Jar
  • Kosher salt
  • Lemons cut in half horizontally or vertically
  • Star Anise or whatever flavoring element suits your fancy


  • Pour an inch of kosher salt into the jar then begin to add the lemons, making sure they fit snugly and alternating with a lot of salt along the way.
  • Drop your flavoring tidbits in there and continue to add salt and lemons until the jar is completely full. Bang the jar on the counter a few times to remove air and help things settle. Top with salt.
  • Screw on the lid and put the jar in the cabinet for at least 1 month but preferably more. If it becomes very liquidy, add more salt to the top.
  • When ready to use, remove the lemons as needed, rinse in cold water and remove the pulp. Chop the rind to use in your poultry and fish recipes, or in just about any other recipe you can imagine.


  • Grandma
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:49 am

    Does it have to be Meyer? Some of us are not fortunate enough to have them hanging on a tree.What about ordinary,East-coast-available lemons? and . . How are they different? ( never had one )

    • Georgia
      Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:49 am

      No Grandma, you can use regular lemons and it will work perfectly. You can use any citrus fruit really… limes, kumquats… the citrus world is your oyster.

  • John Athayde
    Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Just gave this a whirl. Have five jars of lemons from my sister's yard in Sierra Madre now comfortably snug in the back of the pantry. Now the wait begins!

    • Georgia
      Posted June 2, 2010 at 3:50 am

      Oh that's so exciting John! I can't wait for mine to be ready. I look at them every day. We'll have to compare notes. I found that I had to top mine off with salt after a few days, you might have to as well…

  • sandy
    Posted August 1, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Never seen this type before. The ones I've seen in the past were in liquid. Might give this a whirl.

  • June Sanger Ohm
    Posted December 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

    OK! Finally found the recipe! You are my son's favorite cook/hunter – I thought at first it was just because of how you look – (should have known he would need more than just looks) – now I know better, your recipes are the best and you are a good writer too. BTW, I think I'm getting my first gun for Christmas this year – I'm 65, so I've been waiting a long time for a gun of my own 😉 Thanks for what you do, for sharing your talents with the rest of us, and, Merry Christmas!!!

    • Post Author
      Posted December 10, 2010 at 7:42 am

      Merry Christmas to you too June!

  • Tina
    Posted November 21, 2012 at 4:48 am

    Whatever happened to the lemons? What happens after a month of sitting in salt? x

    • Post Author
      Posted November 23, 2012 at 8:32 am

      After a month they are ready to rinse and use in your recipes! You can search by ingredients on my site, here are two great recipes that incorporate them:

      • Angelo
        Posted March 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm

        We have so many lemons that are usually on the tree year round, why preserve, just go out and pick em as you need em. 🙂

        • Post Author
          Posted March 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

          Most people do NOT have that year round my friend!

  • Melissa
    Posted April 22, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    This looks wonderful! How long will the lemons last in the salt? 6 months?

    • Post Author
      Posted April 25, 2013 at 6:09 am

      They last longer than that for me when kept in a dark place–a year or more!

    Posted October 30, 2013 at 7:02 am


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