My friend Greg, his girlfriend and his brother recently purchased a home one scant block from my place. In their backyard is a glorious, well-established Meyer lemon tree, positively exploding with lemons. For weeks, I procrastinated dropping by to raid it, but finally had the occasion last week. I brought home a healthy bag full of petite and extremely fragrant yellow fruit.
A few went straightaway into an infusion. Knowing from past experience that the pith makes for a very unpalatable infusion, I just barely zested a couple of the lemons into a container, then set about supreming the fruit. As these are seriously tiny things, and the segments are quite thin indeed, it took nearly surgical precision to extract a few fleshy slices of pulp. But the deed is done, and there will hopefully be a small burst of lemony liquor in my near future. (No pic of the infusion — it’s not exacly photogenic right now.)
But the other thing I’ve been wanting to do with lemons is conserve them. I do like to make Moroccan/North African dishes from time to time, and it is the one ingredient I am always without. You can substitute fresh, but it just doesn’t have the same zing. Besides, I think it will make a fabulous addition to nearly any recipe, regardless its provenance.
Pretty much all the research I’ve done on making conserved lemons says the same thing, but I did find one handy resource that came with photos here. And, so, that is pretty much the recipe I’m going to stick to. This is not instant-gratification food, though; I’ve got a month ahead of me, and several steps along the way, before I’ll get to enjoy these babies. Luckily, I am a patient man.