Sunday, 11 August 2019

Preserved Limes in a Jar

On most weekends I take my Mother shopping for a few hours.  Sometimes we dine on lunch at different venues.  Yesterday, we were at our local shopping centre, had taken the items from one supermarket to the car and returned to another supermarket only to hear a fire alarm and a loud speaker message of "please evacuate the shopping centre".  Individual store owners started lugging items inside and closing up their shops.  Some took longer than others but were encouraged by a security guard to close up and take refuge outside.   One of the shop owners said that if it was a mere fire drill that this would have been announced over the PA system but that there must have been indeed a fire danger for them to evacuate on a sunny Sunday afternoon.   As we drove away there was a fire brigade truck towards the middle of the shopping centre on the outside, so I am glad we chose to leave instead of waiting around to see what had happened.    It was definitely too late to buy lunch today.

 None of my friends had ever heard of evacuating the shopping centre so it was kind of exciting.

At least I could go home and preserve some limes for future use.

Winter brings an abundance of limes/lemons/mandarins/ oranges/pears.   Especially this year, we have so many limes.
We already have lime juice in the freezer so this time I decided to preserve them in salt for future recipes.
Make sure you sterilize your glass jar first by placing a clean 1 litre jar into a cold oven then turn to 150°C.   When it reaches 150°C turn the oven off and let jar cool.  If the jar lid is metal pour boiling water over it.   Although this time I decided to spray the jar with a metabisulphite solution that I use to sterilise wine making equipment with, this works just as effectively to kill germs.  Spray the entire inside of the jar and lid, then shake to remove liquid.  Don't dry with a towel but rather let it air dry.

Preserved Limes in a Jar

1 kilo freshly picked limes, washed and air dried
100g sea salt
1 dried chilli
2 dried bay leaves
10 peppercorns
6 coriander seeds
1 sterilized 1 litre glass jar

Place a thin layer of salt onto the bottom of your jar.
Cut each lime into quarters lengthwise and place about 12 quarters in the jar.  Push down with a sterilized tamper or back of a wooden spoon.  Pour in a little more salt.  Add another layer of lime quarters, more salt, the chilli, bay leaves and peppercorns.  Keep pushing down, add more limes and salt.  As you push down the lime juice rises and covers the limes and salt.  Continue until your jar is full with about 1cm of head space at the top.  You may need to add more lime juice to completely cover the limes.
I use a ceramic disc on top of the limes to ensure that the limes are kept submerged.  Seal with the lid and store in a dark cupboard for 30 days.
These will keep for years if unopened.  
Some suggest to store in the fridge once opened but if you keep the limes below the level of the liquid and throw out any if they appear tainted then these last for ages in the cupboard.
When cooking with preserved limes, remove the required lime slices from the jar, rinse and dispose of the flesh, it is the chopped rind that you use whilst cooking.

Have you ever had to evacuate a shopping centre?   Or taken place in a pre planned fire drill?

Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx


  1. Not sure I would find evacuating the shopping centre's scary :-(

    The supermarket citrus can't compared with the freshly picked lime from your own garden. Wish I lived close enough so I could taste some of your homemade pickled limes!

    1. It was scary in retrospect, fresh limes are amazing we are lucky to have so many this year :D

  2. Yes so much citrus right now! I don't have limes but I have so many Seville oranges at the moment. This looks marvellous Merryn. It sounds like it was more a real fire situation than a drill if shop owners were taking things inside!

    1. Seville oranges, how lovely, these are delightful. It was a real fire danger, I'm glad I didn't stay to see what happened :D

  3. Sounds like an exciting shopping trip! Not a fire sale, I take it? :-) Anyway, neat recipe! Love citrus, and I've never had preserved limes. Gotta remedy that! Thanks.

  4. Classic, not a fire sale, maybe I should have stayed nearby. Preserved limes are milder surprisingly than preserved lemons :D

  5. Merryn, I'll definitely have to try making preserved limes! Can't wait to see what they taste like. I bet they add a wonderful flavor to dishes!

  6. This is a fantastic way to preserve limes. I wish I lived in a climate where I could grow my own citrus fruit.