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Pickled Lemons

Pickled lemons are popular in North Africa, even though lemons are home-grown and available year round. Some are pickled sweet-and-sour, with sugar, vinegar, salt, and cinnamon. Others are sweet, not suitable for cooking with meat but meant to be eaten like candy.
The following recipe is at least 800 years old; it appears in a book written at the end of the 12th century C.E. by Saladin's personal physician. Choose juicy, glossy, unblemished lemons.
The rinds are delicious when cooked with lamb or chicken

ingredients

1 cup coarse (kosher) salt
8 lemons
2 bay leaves
10 allspice berries
10 coriander seeds

method

1. Sprinkle 2 or 3 tablespoons of salt into each 1 quart commercial canning jar.

2. Make 4 lengthwise cuts in the lemons, from the end opposite the stem almost to the stem, but leave them joined at the stem end.

3. Open up the cuts and pack them with coarse salt. Squeeze the lemons back into shape.

4. Pack lemons tightly into the jars, pushing them down firmly so they release their juices.

5. Sprinkle with extra salt, and push the bay leaves down between the lemons; add the allspice berries and coriander seeds.

6. Squeeze the remaining lemons and strain the juice. Pour juice into the jar; there should be enough to completely cover the lemons. Stir and poke mixture with a wooden spoon handle to ensure there are no air bubbles in the jars. Seal the jars, shaking to distribute the contents, and then leave in a sunny place for 2 weeks. Turn jars upside down briefly once a day if possible to distribute the contents evenly. After 2 weeks, store lemons in a cool, dry place; they will keep for up to a year unopened. Once opened, they must be refrigerated.

7. To use the lemons, rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the excess salt. Discard pulp and use the rinds.

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