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Lemon Confit Recipe

Lemon Confit Recipe

Recipe Preparation

  • Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (yellow part only) from lemons in long strips. Squeeze 6 tablespoons juice from lemons. Blanch peel in small saucepan of boiling water 10 seconds; drain. Repeat twice. Bring 6 tablespoons lemon juice, olive oil, canola oil, garlic, and pinch of salt to simmer in small saucepan. Add lemon peel and simmer over low heat until peel is soft, about 1 hour. Cool. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 month ahead. Keep chilled and completely covered in oil. Always use clean fork to remove lemon.

Recipe by Sondra Bernstein,Reviews Section

Start by making the confit as this needs to be prepared ahead of time – the day before you want to serve it, if possible.

Take one and a half of the lemons and slice them into thin rings about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick, discarding the end pieces and pips. Place these in the non-aluminium saucepan and cover with sufficient cold water to just cover them, bring to a simmer for 3 minutes, then drain through a sieve and discard the water. Now pour 12 fl oz (340 ml) water into the same pan, add the sugar, stir over a gentle heat until all the grains have dissolved then add the lemon slices.

Once the liquid has returned to a very gentle simmer lay the circle of silicone paper on the surface of the liquid – this will help the lemon slices to cook evenly. Now continue to cook them at the very gentlest simmer, without a lid, for 45 minutes – until the skins are tender. Check them at 30 minutes by inserting the tip of a knife just in case they are cooking a little faster.

When they are tender, remove them with a slotted spoon to a shallow dish. The liquid will be much reduced at this stage, but what we want is about 5 fl oz (150 ml) if you have much more than this, increase the heat a little and reduce further. Then squeeze the juice from the remaining half lemon, pour it into the syrup and pour this over the lemon slices.

Cover and leave overnight if possible.

To make the cheesecake, first of all pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400ºF (200ºC), then prepare the base by crushing the biscuits – the best way to do this is to lay them flat inside a polythene bag then roll them with a rolling pin to crush them coarsely. Then tip them into a bowl along with the flaked almonds and stir the melted butter into them. After that, press this mixture evenly and firmly on to the base of the cake tin and then place in the oven to pre-bake for 20 minutes.

After that remove it from the oven and allow it to get completely cold. Meanwhile, remove the zest from the lemons using a fine grater (it can be grated on to a board and chopped even more finely if required). Then take the juice from the lemons and measure to 5 fl oz (150 ml). Next put 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice into a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatine over, then place the bowl in a small saucepan with 1 inch (2.5 cm) simmering water and leave it for 10 minutes to dissolve, or until it is absolutely clear and transparent. You can also watch our Online Cookery School Video on zesting and juicing citrus fruits on the right.

Now put the egg yolks, sugar and ricotta cheese into a food processor or liquidiser and blend it all on a high speed for about 1 minute. Then add the lemon zest, remaining lemon juice and the gelatine, which should be poured through a strainer. Blend everything again now until it's all absolutely smooth. Then take a large bowl and whisk the double cream until you get a floppy consistency, then pour this in to join the rest of the cheese mixture and blend again, this time for just a few seconds. Next, pour the whole lot over the biscuit base, cover with foil and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours.

To serve the cheesecake, carefully remove it from the tin on to a serving plate, decorate with a circle of lemon confit slices and serve the rest separately.

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Lemon Confit

Because the lemons are sliced, this technique takes much less time than the usual recipe for whole preserved lemons.

Make Ahead: The lemons need 3 days' curing time. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 month for best flavor. The recipe can be halved.

Servings: 4 cups
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Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Plunge the lemons into the water just long enough to soften any outer layer of wax on the fruit. Drain, rinse, then wipe the lemons clean and dry them.

Cut the lemons into very thin slices, discarding the ends and any seeds.

Combine the shallots and garlic in a small bowl.

Combine the salt and sugar in a separate small bowl.

Arrange a layer of lemon slices in the bottom of a medium container with a lid, making sure not to overlap the slices. Sprinkle the lemons first with a little of the shallot-garlic mixture, then with some of the salt-sugar mixture. Repeat to use all the slices, layering them in several stacks and sprinkling them alternately with the 2 mixtures until the final lemon slices are topped with the last of the shallot-garlic and salt-sugar mixtures. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 3 days after a day or so, turn over the stacks so all the slices can cure evenly.

Drain the lemons in a strainer for about 15 minutes. Have ready a clean 1-quart container with a tight-fitting lid.

Pack the drained lemons tightly in the container, then fill with the oil, making sure the lemons are completely covered. The confit can be used immediately or refrigerated for at least 1 month.

How to Make Meyer Lemon Confit

Regular Food in Jars contributor Alex Jones is dropping in today with a brilliant idea for how to make lemon confit. These oil-poached lemon slices produce both deeply infused olive oil and tender slivers of lemon, ready to be chopped and stirred into braises, vinaigrettes, and batches of hummus. I am planning on starting a batch of my own immediately. -Marisa

Every winter, I look forward to my box of tart, aromatic sunshine from Lemon Ladies Orchard, which I first learned about thanks to Marisa’s devotion to them on this very blog.

Sometimes I ask for it as a Christmas gift and spend the week between the holidays happily preserving. But this year, I ordered up a five-pound box of their gorgeous, organic Meyer lemons to brighten things up during the long midwinter stretch in February.

So far, I’ve preserved lemons in salt, made lemon syrup (the classic Joy of Cooking lemonade concentrate recipe that my mom made when I was a kid is my favorite), infused vinegar with the excess peels, and dehydrated several racks of thin slices to pop in my herbal tea till these precious lemons come into season next year.

I’ve reserved a handful for lemon bars and maybe a mini batch of velvety lemon curd, too. But I really wanted to try something new this year, maybe something savory. This Los Angeles Times compilation of 100 ways to use Meyer lemons — intended to ease the burden on Californians blessed with a backyard citrus bounty — offered an idea I’d never tried before: Meyer lemon confit.

You’ll often see salt-preserved lemons referred to this way (“confit” comes from the French word “confire,” meaning to preserve, so it makes sense). But this method preserves the lemons in fat — olive oil, to be precise. Slice the lemons, cover with oil, and cook them at the barest simmer over very low heat for an hour.

The olive oil is infused with a heady combination of brightness from the lemon oil, tartness from the juice, and a bitter undertone from the pith. The lemon itself becomes milder, the peel tender — almost like salt-preserving the lemon, minus the long wait and without the overpowering saltiness.

Scoop out the oil and use it in salad dressings or marinades, then top the veggies with finely-diced pieces of lemon. Puree the mixture with fresh herbs and use as a dip for crusty, fresh bread or pita. Chop the thin-skinned lemons and toss them with steamed red potatoes and herbs in a vinegary potato salad, or rub minced lemons on chicken thighs before roasting. I bet you could add a whole new dimension to a lemony olive oil cake with this infused oil, too.

You could take this preparation a step further and make variations with other flavors: add herbs like thyme or rosemary, or maybe a bundle of parsley stems another option could be bay leaves and black peppercorns.

While this recipe can’t be canned, your lemon confit will keep for at least two weeks in the fridge (or months in the freezer), so you can add a lush, lemony note to dishes long after Meyer lemon season has ended. How are you preserving Meyer lemons this winter to last all year long?

Why does confit garlic sound so familiar?!

Ah, guess you’ve been paying attention to my posts! This recipe is very similar to the one I used in my vegan colcannon with confit garlic. The main difference is that I doubled the garlic and added a bit more seasoning for this one. Oh, and it’s a standalone recipe. See, when I’d initially made that colcannon, I didn’t quite use all my garlic. I had enough to use in one other dish. It was glorious, and it gave me a taste of what life could be like if I had confit garlic on hand at all times. That seemed like a life hack worthy of its own recipe post, so here we are!

Use a vegetable peeler to remove the yellow peel from lemons in long strips. Try not to peel away any of the white bitter pith. Squeeze about 1/3 cup of lemon juice — from 1 to 2 lemons.

Bring a small saucepan with water to a boil, add the lemon peel and leave in the boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove the peel and drain the water. Fill the saucepan with water for a second time. Bring to a boil then add the lemon peel and leave in the boiling water for 10 more seconds. Drain and wipe the pan dry.

Add the lemon juice, olive oil, canola oil, garlic and about 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer then add the lemon peel and cook at a low simmer until the peel is soft and pliable, about 1 hour. Cool then store in an airtight container completely covered in oil.

Remove a few sliced of lemon confit (use a clean utensil). Finely chop. Add about 1 cup of olives, 2 tablespoons olive oil, red pepper flakes, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper to a small saucepan and heat just until warm over low heat. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved.

Wash the lemons well and trim about half a centimetre from both ends of each. Cut the lemons into thin slices and remove any seeds. Lay the lemon slices in a baking pan in rows, each slightly overlapping the next. Add the sugar syrup gently over the lemon slices so they are covered. Place a piece of baking paper, randomly pricked all over with a sharp knife to allow moisture to escape, on top of the lemon and cover the baking pan with foil.

Bake in the oven for about 50-60 minutes until the lemon slices are translucent. Remove the foil and continue baking for a further 30-40 minutes until the sugar is syrupy. Remove from the oven and cool before using.

It will keep refrigerated in its syrup for weeks. Use the lemon slices for custard tarts, decorations for cakes or any citrus dessert.

Lemon Confit Vinaigrette

1. Make the lemon confit: In a medium saucepan set over high heat, add the lemon halves and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently until the lemons are very soft, about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the lemons to a cutting board. Once they are cool enough to handle, use a teaspoon to scrape out the fruit and pulp, discard. Use the edge of the teaspoon to gently scrape away the white pith so you are left with 4 lemon cups.

2. In a small saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the lemon cups and simmer until translucent, about 25 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the confited lemon cups and set aside to cool. (Save the simple syrup for cocktails, iced tea or other drinks.) 3. Make the vinaigrette: To the bowl of a food processor, add ½ of a confited lemon rind, the anchovy fillets, egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Process until combined, then through the feed tube drizzle in the oil in a slow and steady stream. Cover and refrigerate until serving.