The Key To The Perfect Lemon Confit, According To Martha Stewart

The bright and bold flavor of lemons makes for the ideal accompaniment to a salad dressing or the perfect flavor burst to transform boring noodles into a luxurious pasta dish. However, over time as the lemon breaks down, it loses some of its zing or may not have as deep of a citrusy taste as it once did. To hold onto that flavor longer, consider preserving lemons.

Lemon confit is a simple way to do this, requiring just two ingredients — lemons and salt. The lemons are cut and placed into a jar and then packed with salt, which helps preserve the citrus's natural flavor and acids. There are plenty of ways to use this later in cooked dishes or cocktails. But there's an art to lemon confit and while it may only take having two specific ingredients on hand, there's a third component to the recipe that Martha Stewart says is a must. 

Making the perfect lemon confit

If you've ever purchased pre-made lemon confit, you may enjoy the depth of flavor with the salty bite it offers. When you make it at home, which is a rather simple process, you'll easily amplify that taste even more so. It can quickly become a favorite addition to savory dishes. Stewart shares on her Instagram that all you need to make her version is Kosher salt and bright, ripe lemons, and this specific ingredient. 

Firstly, you'll need to slice the lemon's end off, and then cut three-fourths of the way down longwise in two directions, creating four quarters that are still attached at the base. Next, pack the salt heavily into the center of the lemons. Then place it into a sterilized jar, stuffed full of lemons and salt, and place it into the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

However, Stewart notes that the most important ingredient when it comes to the perfect lemon confit is time. They need to sit in the jar unopened for at least a month. Once that time passes, the texture is transformed and the flavor is preserved while the peel softens. Cut into small pieces to add to Moroccan tagines, couscous, or any dish that could benefit from the pungent flavor. Other prep steps and slightly different methods of making lemon confit exist, but this method is quick and easy for the perfect refrigerator version.