This recipe came about not because I wanted to make Lemon Preserves but because I had gone a bit crazy at the grocery store. Organic lemons were on sale!  I made my Lemon Tarts, Iced Lemon Tea, Lemon Cookies, Lemon Sugar and then moved on to making Moroccan Preserved Lemons. Still had more lemons so I came up with this recipe. Some of my best recipes are born not out of creative genius but sheer stupidity (bought way too many organic lemons) and desperation!

When I first made these Preserves, I did not realise how versatile and useful they would be. As I was making them, I could not get over how fragrant they smelled! Then, I found myself barely able to wait the 24 hours for the sugar syrup to soak into the dehydrated caramelised lemon slices. Oh, these are good.

Sweetish and tart, with an ever so slight caramel flavour, the lemons slices and its accompanying syrup tasted excellent on top of cheesecake, panna cotta, pancakes… Wanting to eat more of the preserves but unwilling to put in any effort cooking, I decided it would taste great in my hot Ginger Tea. Into the tea went a preserve. Very, very good! Then, I thought… I bet a slice of preserve with some of that nice caramel syrup will taste great in soda water. It did!!

I am now thinking of incorporating it in some salad but I am low on preserves and still so hooked on having them in my Ginger Tea and soda water that the idea will just have to wait until I make another batch of preserves.

Lemon Slices Preserved In Simple Syrup

Prep: ~ 10 -15 minutes 
Cook: ~ 1 –  2 hours
Inactive: Overnight 
Level: Easy with multiple steps but largely unattended.
Makes: ~ 1 cup
Oven Temperature: 240F 120C oven rack middle shelf
Can recipe be doubled? Sure
Make ahead? Keeps very well refrigerated. 

Ingredients

1 cup = 250ml =8.45 US fl oz

1 lemon (preferably organic)
~1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Method

Prep work
1. Turn on the oven to 240F (120C) oven rack adjusted to middle shelf.
2. Line a baking tray with silicon mat or parchment paper.

Prep the lemon
1. Wash the lemon very well to remove all traces of wax, etcetera. Dry thoroughly.
2. Slice the lemon into thin slices and set it down on the lined baking sheet.
3. Sprinkle each lemon slice with caster sugar.

Bake
1. Bake for ~1 – 2 hours or until the lemon slices have lost some of its moisture and turned a light caramel colour. Don’t let them burn. Baking the lemon slices at this stage, will not only create a nice light caramel colour and flavour, it will keep the lemon slices in good shape. If you were to boil or simmer them instead, they will turn limp and mushy.
2. Once the lemon slices have caramelised, remove from oven to avoid them burning. Cool.

Make sugar syrup
 1. Add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a little pot, bring to a boil and dissolve sugar.
2. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Putting it together
1. Neither the caramelised lemon slices or the sugar syrup need to be cooled before you can work with them.
2. In cleaned, sterilised jars, add the lemon slices, then top completely with the sugar syrup.
3. Store on your kitchen counters for a day and then transfer to the refrigerator. Wait a day for the sugar syrup and lemon slices to work its way into each other before eating.

Tips

To serve
1. Lemons slices and its accompanying syrup taste excellent and look very pretty on top of cheesecake, cakes, panna cotta, pancakes…
2. In my hot Ginger Tea and I would think most tea.
3. In sodas or sparkling water.


4. Soon, I am going to try it in a salad dressing. I will likely cut it finely before using with a little of the syrup. It should work both in a cream or oil based dressing.

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

I had planned to post my Crispy Pork Belly Recipe before Panna Cotta but I’m working on the last few details of that draft, so it’s Panna Cotta first!

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