The Sweet Ingredient Addition For More Flavorful Lemon Confit

When it comes to food preservation, there are a lot of routes one can take. Each one contains a bevy of streets stocked with options and rules you'll need to follow to achieve preservation success. Canning is an excellent option for citrus fruits because their naturally high acid levels make it difficult for botulism toxins to form. You can also freeze, dehydrate, make jam and marmalade, preserve in salt, or ferment your citrus fruit, per Grow Forage Cook Ferment. However, one special method of preserving lemons yields exceptionally flavorful results.

Once again, we are cozying up to the French and their excellent culinary culture. They have a food preservation technique called confit. To confit means to cook and preserve something in fat. While mainly applicable to animals, such as those with a high-fat content like pigs, geese, and ducks, there are also ways in which you can confit other ingredients, like garlic or shallots, via D'Artagnan. You can even confit lemons, according to Food in Jars. By simmering the lemons in copious amounts of olive oil — as lemons have virtually no fat — you extract levels of flavor not previously available and infuse them into the oil. Lemon confit can be kept in the fridge or freezer for several weeks and comes in sweet and savory forms.

Add sugar for deeper flavor

The principles of lemon confit are twofold. Firstly, the slow-cooking flavors of the olive oil. As the whole lemon is being used, the acidity from the juice and a slightly bitter undertone from the pith infuse into the oil give some outstanding, lemony notes. Second, the long cooking and low temperature change the nature of the lemons. The peels become flexible and tender, bringing a mellow flavor that affects the lemon. With confit lemons, you are not mobbed by the harsh acidity you'd find in a fresh lemon, via Food in Jars.

One way to enhance the flavor of your lemon confit even further is by adding a sweeter element amongst the savory. According to MasterClass, adding a teaspoon of brown sugar to your olive oil mixture brings a layer of nuance to the confit. As the lemons slow roast in the oven, the sugar dissolves and imparts a deep, caramel-like component to the lemons. A sweeter lemon confit can be used to level up an average bowl of ice cream or as an attractive garnish for cakes. Leite's Cucina recommends chopping the lemons and mixing them with yogurt, muddling them into a cocktail, or livening up a charcuterie board by bringing some citrus notes to salty cheeses and cured meats. However you decide to use your lemon confit, you're sure to find it a wonderfully unique flavor trip.