Curing Miniature "lemons"

I just put up two jars of very tart specialty citrus. They are like a miniature lemon about 1-1/2 to 2" long, ovoid, with a very thin, sweet skin and very, very tart flesh- more sour than actual lemons. Sorry, I don't recall the name. They have a very short season. I decided to cure them, Moroccan style, with Kosher salt and fresh "true" lemon juice. Is there a minimum amount of salt I should have used for safety? I probably used about 3-4 tablespoons to 6 fruits cut into quarters, in each of 2 small jam/jelly canning jars.

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10 Comments

creamtea January 8, 2014
That is a great answer. 2 great answers, actually, the one about sequins and patent leather and the rejoinder about Dorothy. Great idea, Pegeen, the "cooking phrase of the week".
 
Pegeen January 8, 2014
What a great phrase is that?! (That he couldn't sleep if there were no lemons in the house.) I will remember that every time I buy a lemon. If Food52 had a "cooking phrase of the week feature," that should be the winner.
There are some great cooking phrases that never leave you. When I asked my grandmother why some people's soda bread had raisins and some people's had caraway, she said you could have sequins or patent leather, but not both at the same time. (I mentioned that it was traditionally either/or in a post here last year about soda bread and some clever person responded - I wish I could remember her name - "Unless you are Dorothy.")
 
Pegeen January 8, 2014
Jam... or a great curd for a tart! Now I have to find them. (I'd eat lemons like oranges if I didn't know that would make the enamel screech off my teeth.)
 
creamtea January 8, 2014
Me too! The man who used to cut my hair was of Greek background. We would always talk about food and cooking. He used to say he couldn't sleep at night if there were no lemons in the house. That's how I feel! When I was little we had a lemon tree in the back yard. We also had orange and tangerine, but I used to hang out with the lemon tree :)
 
Pegeen January 8, 2014
Thanks. Lemon or lime and kumquat sounds great. I was thinking of making some avgolemono soup. They could be an interesting variation if I can find them.
 
creamtea January 8, 2014
They are also a bit seedy. I think they'd make a great jam. I got them at Fairway; I never see them at my local WF.
 
creamtea January 8, 2014
I looked over the website. It jogged my memory. I think they are limequats. So I suppose they are a kumquat-lime cross. Very very tart, the fruit is very tender and does not last long in the fridge. The skin is sweet. They are bright yellow.
 
Pegeen January 8, 2014
I plan to check the local Whole Foods to see if they have any small lemons. It's always nice to have a fresh flavor during the winter. Do you think it could be one of these varieties?
https://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/our-citrus-trees/lemon/principal-lemon-varieties.html
 
creamtea January 8, 2014
Pegeen, I do the same thing, quarter them, leaving the end attached, then pry them open a bit halfwise, sprinkle salt, then pry them 90º the other way and sprinkle salt. I put a layer of salt on the bottom of the jar, layer lemons with salt in between, squeeze them all tight till I can't fit any more, top with salt and lemon juice, then leave for a month, shaking every day. This batch should be interesting!
 
Pegeen January 8, 2014
Creamtea, I don't think there is a "safety" level as long as you're preserving them in the refrigerator. Just turn the jars upside down every day to shift the salt and lemon juice. Your proportions sound fine to me. I would love to know what kind of lemons those are.
I cut lemons almost all the way down to the stem end into quarters, pry open the quarters without splitting the lemon apart, and stuff the centers of each lemon with salt, then stuff each lemon into a jar, tight, until no more fit. Then fill the jar to the top with fresh lemon juice. I wait 30 days but since your lemons are small and thin-skinned, you may not need to wait so long.
 
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