Some of you might have noticed a flaw in the lemons I preserved a while ago. You would have been right to do so; the amount of air in the preserving jar above the fruit, and the fact that there was no airtight seal meant that after three weeks the inside of the top of the jar became mouldy. I have already eaten some of the lemons with cous-cous and bulgar wheat and the flavour is really bright and zesty. Seing as there was no mould underneath the layer of oil, I decided that the rest were worth saving, and today I took decisive action!
I poured the contents of the jar into a pan on a medium heat while I sterilised two used jam jars by fully submerging them in a pan of boiling water for ten minutes.
Jars sterilising in my homemade rack
After ten minutes, the jars came out. I put three and a half lemons in each jar then pored the liquid over them until about a centimeter below the rim. Then it was just a matter of poking down the sides of the jar with a wooden skewer to make sure there were no air bubbles. I wiped the rims and gently screwed the lids on, then put the now full jars back in the boiling water for another 15 minutes.
The jars came out and sat on a tea-towel for a half hour or so. By this time the buttons on the lids had sucked in and I had the vacuum I was after!
Canning these lemons was so quick and easy to do even with very basic kitchen equipment. This experiment has got me really excited at the prospect of what I’m going to preserve next!