Cooking time: 10 minutes plus maturing time
Makes: Approx 450g (1lb) – 1 small preserving jar
Keep: 6-9 months refrigerated
- 4 organic lemons, washed
- 115g (4oz.) coarse sea salt
- A few bay leaves
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 1 dried chilli
- A few cloves, or coriander or cumin seeds (optional)
- Freshly squeezed juice of 2 extra lemons
Cut two-thirds of the way through each lemon with a sharp knife, then make a similar cut again at right angles to the first cut. The 2 deep cuts should produce 4 quarters that are joined at the base.
Open each lemon out slightly, pour salt into the crevices and pack tightly into a sterilised preserving jar. Distribute your choice of herbs and spices, if using, among the lemons (these will look lovely if the lemons are to be given as gifts). Add the rest of the salt to the jar.
Pour the lemon juice into the filled jar, if there is not quite enough top up with boiled cooled water. Seal and leave at room temperature. The salt will form a brine; invert the jar from time to time to distribute the salt and juice. Leave for 3-4 weeks for the lemon rinds to soften.