Preserved Citrus – Monday Made


“Waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want?” ~Magaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale)

At the end of November last year I was given a large box of beautiful organic oranges. Absolutely divine, however, our small family had no way of using them all before they started to rot.

SOLUTION: Preserved citrus!

Let me be clear, I am not talking about candied citrus. Not the type that goes in hot-cross buns (although I do love a good fruit mince). These are a very unique, salty preserved citrus that goes well in Moroccan food and with seafood.

I put these into pretty jars and gave them as gifts this Christmas just gone. My mum thought it looked so nice she didn’t want to keep them in a dark cupboard as suggested. Unfortunately, in the window in the middle of summer is NOT a good way to store them. Hers went mouldy.

Mine are happily in my fridge.

I actually used way more salt than suggested here. I can’t actually tell you how much. I just sort of sprinkled in a bit more salt each time I added a few orange segments to the jar. I was a little bit fearful of the oranges not preserving very well.

I also used this same idea to preserve lemon peel. I simply collected lemon peel over a period of time. After I squeezed lemons for whatever reason I would put them in the freezer. Waste not, want not!

For this recipe, you could use a combination of lemons and oranges. I also put some whole cloves, peppercorns and a cinnamon quill in each jar. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

What you need:

  • 2 (about 400g) medium oranges, washed & dried
  • 100g  salt
  • 125ml fresh lemon juice
  • 125ml fresh orange juice

What to do:

  1. Cut each orange into about 6 segments. Place in a plastic bag in the freezer overnight. When you want to use them, get them let them thaw slightly (makes them easier to pack into the jar).
  2. Wash and steralise a glass jar (2 cup capacity). My method is to wash them in soapy water and then put them in the oven (about 50-80 degrees C) until they get dry. Let them cool and then use tongs to remove them. I take care not to handle the inside until I am packing in the fruit. Also, if you are using the same type of jars I have pictured, take them apart before put the glass sections only in the oven!!!
  3.  Mix the orange segments and salt in a large bowl. Pack the fruit as tightly as you can into the jar, adding more salt and the juice as you go. Make sure you cover the fruit completely at the top and get out any air bubbles. Put on the lid and label them!
  4. They need to be stored in a dry cool place for 4 weeks before use. Once open, store in your fridge.

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