This year we’ve decided to not buy gifts for the family – it’s just way too expensive and when you’re a family of five, money is tight at the best of times! So this year we’re doing a nice and classy gift bag containing a jar of homemade preserved lemons and a lemon herb salt.
Preserving lemons are ezy pezy and cheap as chips! I scoured a few different internet sites to source the best recipes and ended up having a play around combining a few to come up with this version –
For 1 large Agee jar you’ll need:
4-5 large Meyer lemons
12-14 Tbsp rock salt (don’t use iodised salt as this will make the lemons bitter)
2 star anise
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1. Sterilise your jars, lids and bands and have them at the ready for packing once you’ve prepared your lemons. I washed my jars with hot soapy water, gave them a good rinse and chucked them into the oven at 120 degrees for a minimum of 30 minutes. The lids and bands were sterilised on hot water in a pot on the stove top.
2. You’ll need to scrub your lemons and make sure that there are no blemishes or mouldy bits. Remember to take off their stickers if they have any (not a good look once in the jar…). Take off the tips from both ends and quarter them almost all the way through, leaving about 1 cm uncut at the base of each lemon.
3. Place 2 Tbsp of rock salt in the base of the jar. Pack 2 Tbsp of rock salt into each lemon and squish them into the jar – some of the juice will start to come from the lemons. Repeat with the remaining 3*4 lemons. Add bay leaves, star anise (looks very swish), cloves and peppercorns.
4. Place the remaining rock salt on top and pour boiling water into the the jar to just cover the lemons. Cap your jars and leave to cool.
5. I dressed the jars with garden twine and a printed Christmas label. There are heaps of free printables online and I found these Christmas printables via pinterest.
Voila! A simple gift for loved ones this Christmas. Lemon herb salt recipe to come!