Jacqueline’s Lemon Preserves

Me with my lemon preserves on Friday, July 19.

From Smucker’s to the little packets at IHOP, I’ve never been a huge jam or jelly person. They’re too sweet for me, too processed, and too fake. I never liked peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I know) and I don’t spread any jam on my toast.

I have had family in Montana who made homemade raspberry jam from homegrown berries, and huckleberry jam from wild berries. Those jams, I could get behind. I’ve used premade apricot preserves to make homemade hamentaschen. That’s about the extent of my enjoyment of these condiments.

But on July 15, I attended and covered a Moishe House Northern Virginia event: Jewish Jams, Jellies, and Preserves. While I was there, I also got to make my own jar of lemon preserves – but they take at least a month to mature into the preserves we can eat. I thought it would be fun to document that process.

So, I’m going to take you through my jar’s journey from simple lemon juice, rind, and salt to a tasty treat I can eat and cook with!


The process

As I explained in my article, we first cut two lemons into quarters (without cutting all the way through). Then we covered each exposed side in a mound of kosher salt, pressed the lemons into a jar and squeezed the juice out until the lemons were submerged.

After that, we close the jar and wait a month. Abby Newburger, who was hosting the event, explained what we need to do in that time:

  1. Every day for the week after canning, shake the jar.
  2. Leave it upside down one day, and right side up the next. This is so the salt and juice can mix around without settling for too long.
  3. After a week of this process, put the jar in the fridge.
  4. Keep the jar in the fridge for 3-4 more weeks before opening.
  5. After the month, the preserves should be ready to eat and cook with.

My jar

Here is what my jar looked like immediately after canning:

My lemon preserves right after canning.

So far, I have been shaking and turning my jar. On Monday, at the one-week mark, I will post my first update in this scintillating blog series. Stay tuned!

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This blog is part of a series documenting the progress of my lemon preserves, which I created at a Moishe House Northern Virginia event.

To read the Week 1 post, click here.

To read Week 2, click here.

To read Week 3, click here.

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