The Meyer lemon trees in Berkeley, including mine, are still loaded with fruit. Not wanting to waste a single lemon, I searched through my cookbook collection to find something new to make with them. I came across a way to preserve lemons quicker, and different from, the pungent, super-salty, whole-fruit method.This recipe for “Cured Lemons” comes from Thomas Keller’s cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home. The lemons are sliced, layered with a mixture of salt and sugar, and left in the refrigerator to cure for two weeks. The end product is salty and a bit sweet and retains the brightness of fresh lemons. After a rinse, you can put the slices atop fish, chicken, or on vegetables to be roasted in the oven. Cured lemons are also wonderful chopped up in salad dressing. Try adding a little more sugar and caramelizing them with a torch or under a broiler to make a bold topping for pound cake or other desserts.
Start with a good layer of the salt/sugar mixture on the bottom of your container. Slightly overlap the lemon slices on top.Sprinkle more salt/sugar mixture over every layer of lemons. Make sure to cover the lemons slices completely with the sugar mixture. The above photo is taken mid-sprinkle.