Prep time: 30 minutes plus three weeks and two days for the jar to sit
Makes 1 quart
Adapted from recipe from "Tart and Sweet" by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.
10-14 Meyer or small Eureka lemons, ends trimmed 1/4 inch
Fresh lemon juice
Cut a deep X into a trimmed end of each lemon, but don't cut all the way through; leave about 1/2 inch uncut. The lemon should resemble a four-petal flower.
Pack the openings with as much salt as you can. Sprinkle salt all over the outside of the lemons, too.
Pour 1 tablespoon of salt into the bottom of a sterilized wide-mouth jar. Pack the salted lemons into the jar, squishing them down to release juice. When the jar is full, add enough fresh lemon juice to cover all the lemons. Add 2 more tablespoons salt. Seal tightly.
Let the jar sit at room temperature for two days, turning the jar upside down occasionally. Then, move the jar to the refrigerator. Let sit for three weeks, turning the jar upside down occasionally.
The lemons are ready to use when the rinds are soft. Before adding to a recipe, rinse the lemons in cold water to remove excess salt.
Preserved lemons will keep at least six months in the refrigerator.