Lemon Confit

This post is part of my ongoing charcuterie project. See my original writeup for further background.

So I’m in the part of the book that I don’t really consider charcuterie but is designed to show some extreme examples of the power of salt. It’s a little annoying to be wasting my time with lemons when there is meat looming but I’m committed to not skipping anything. So let’s go.

Lemons, and salt, and time. And a bit of water to make sure the salt has complete coverage of the lemons. That’s it. We’ve seen this before.

lemon confit

Lemons halved and entirely submerged in salt for 3 months does yield some surprising results though. The acidic bite is nearly entirely gone (or probably rather just balanced by the intense saltines) and what’s left is bright, floral citrus and savory rinds. This is powerful stuff, so a little goes a long way. We’ve mostly used it to infuse in olive oil or to flavor salad dressings, but it would be fun to experiment with some curries or Middle Eastern food where lemon confit isn’t uncommon.

I made a ton of it, and use a little of it, but fortunately it basically doesn’t go bad. This isn’t a home run but it’s a great spice/condiment to have on hand.

On a side note, this only ranks as the second most extreme transformation of lemons that I’ve experienced. The top crown goes to lemons paired with miraculan, a protein which binds to sweet receptors on the tongue and allows you to eat whole lemons like they are candy. The effects of miraculan are so dramatic that eating it with other foods became known as “flavor tripping”. Years ago a friend of mine put together a “flavor tripping” party and documented the results:

3 Responses to “Lemon Confit”

  1. […] Fresh Bacon Pancetta Guanciale Salt Pork Fennel-Cured Salmon Duck Prosciutto Beef Jerky Lemon Confit […]

  2. I still have some of those tablets…

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