Monday, October 10, 2011

Lemon Pickles

 So, I've been playing with lemon pickles.   There were several recipes for different types of lemon pickles in the Joy of Pickling book that I just read [Link below]

I've never had pickled lemons, so I had to try some.  I mentioned it to a friend and she told me how her mother used to pickle lemons.  Even more motivation!

I didn't know which ones to try, so I tried three different kinds:   Moroccan and Indian [from the book] and Venezuelan [from my friend].

Here they are [L-R]:   Venezuelan, Moroccan, Indian.

The Venezuelan ones were very salty and spiced with pepper, coriander, allspice and bay.

The Moroccan ones are milder and pickled in lemon juice, salt and a bit of olive oil.

The Indian ones were spiced with fennel, cumin and black pepper as well as salt.   After a week, you pour off the juices and mix them with sugar and hot peppers, then boil it all [with the lemons] for a while and let it sit for another few weeks.    Sweet hot and delicious!

The recipes for the Moroccan and Indian pickles are in The Joy of Pickling.   Here's the recipe for the Venezuelan ones.   Enjoy!

Venezuelan Pickled Lemon Slices
  • 2 lemons
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander
  • bay leaves
Makes 1 pint.  Slice the lemons.  Mix the spices [without the salt] together.   Layer in the jar as follows:
  • salt
  • spice
  • lemon
  • salt 
  • spice
  • bay leaf
  • lemon
Continue until all the lemon slices are used up.    When the slices are about half way up the jar, slide bay leaves into the jar on the outside of the slices.   [It's pretty and adds more bay].    Let sit on the counter or in a window  for a couple of weeks.   They'll start to ooze and the jar will fill up with juice in a few days.  That's normal.

These were super salty when we made them.  I used a generous layer of salt between the lemons.  Next time, I'd use just a very generous sprinkle of salt in each layer - about the same amount of salt as you use spices in each layer. 

UPDATE:  A better way to deal with the saltiness is to just rinse them off before you use them.   Doesn't matter how much salt you pack them in then.    Also, that salt is tasty as a flavoring for meats and soups.    Use it all.

If you try these, let me know how you like them.  Here's the link to the book.  


  1. Whoa. That is the funkiest thing I've ever seen. Never heard of lemon pickles. And they sound highly do-able! So, you don't drain the juice from the Venezuelan pickles? And do they just keep in the fridge? Or can you store them on a shelf until use?

  2. Yeah. I'd never heard of anything like this, either - but my pickle life is pretty sheltered. If you know what I mean.

    Yes, you can keep them in the fridge. We don't drain the juice. Might be good to deglaze something with....


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