The Essential Prep Step For Lemon Confit

The word "confiture" is French and signifies any preserved or candied fruit. Confit, however, refers to any food cured with salt and then slowly cooked in oil, fat, or sugar, which is a way of preserving it. This process of making confit can be done with any food: a fruit, vegetable, or even meat, via Serious Eats, and given that refrigerators were not invented until the late 18th century (per Live Science), it makes sense that extending a food's shelf life and warding off bacteria dates quite far back into history.

Popular confit recipes include confit de canard, garlic confit, onion confit, and lemon confit. Traditionally found in Middle Eastern cuisine, lemon confit is made up of lemons preserved in salt and is the perfect ingredient to add a bit of acidity to your meal, according to Bormolio Rocco. Making your own lemon confit at home isn't too difficult — just avoid these common confit mistakes — but there is one crucial step to preserving lemons you won't want to skip.

Thoroughly scrub your lemons for confit prep

Before you start curing and cooking your lemons, there is one essential prep step, whether you're making a savory lemon confit or a sweet lemon confit with sugar. Clean your lemons and give them a thorough wash and even gentle scrub to ensure there isn't any dirt or other residue lingering on your lemon peels before preserving them. One main reason you want to do this is that many lemon producers spray the citrus exteriors with a light coating of wax that helps maintain freshness and moisture, per MasterClass.

To easily remove the light wax layer from your lemons, you can submerge them into boiling water for 20 seconds, rinse them under cool water, and hand dry them with a towel, according to Taste of Home. Once you've mastered the lemon confit and want to take your transformed fruit concoction further, you can test out this lemon confit vinaigrette, which includes other flavor-packed ingredients like anchovies, egg yolks, and mustard.