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Small Batch Preserved Lemons and Limes

we made 1 pint lemons and 1 half-pint limes
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season



  • 2 lb lemons [organic meyer lemons are best]
  • or
  • 1 lb limes [we used key limes]
  • Kosher Salt
  • Additional Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
  • Dry Whole Spices  [Optional! We used Cinnamon Sticks and Cardamom Pods for the Lemons, Black Peppercorns and Cumin Seeds for the Limes]


  • Scrub the citrus well.
  • Slice off the tiny tips and tails at the tops and bottoms of each fruit.
  • Slice each fruit from the trimmed top down in an X, so that the fruit is almost quartered but not completely detached at its base.
  • Salt each fruit liberally on the inside.
  • Place 2 tbs Kosher Salt in the bottom of each jar.
  • Drop a few salted lemons or limes into the bottom of the salted jar.
  • Add a few dry spices.
  • Add a spoonful of kosher salt.
  • Continue to add additional fruits, spices and salt, pressing down hard with hands, the back of a spoon, or the edge of a wooden kitchen tool, so that the fruits compact and juice.
  • Press down hard to get as much fruit in the jar as possible!
  • When you reach the top, if the juice is not rising up over the fruit, add a bit more fresh citrus juice to the jar.
  • Place a bit more salt on the very top.
  • Seal the jar, leaving just about a quarter inch of head-space/room for air at the very top.
  • Let the jar sit around at room temperature for 3-5 days.
  • Shake the jar occasionally during that time.
  • Refrigerate the jar for a few more weeks before using.
  • To use the preserved citrus, open the jar, remove the amount of fruit you need, removing seeds and spices, and rinsing well.