Preserving lemons is, typically, the process of allowing them to be packed in salt or sugar so that the moisture is drawn from them and they can be stored at room temperature for longer. If you want to free up some shelf space, is it possible to freeze them?
Can You Freeze Preserved Lemons?
Yes, you can freeze preserved lemons, and you can freeze them almost indefinitely. The best way to freeze preserved lemons is to simply transfer whatever container they have been preserved in into the freezer, label it, and allow the lemons to freeze over time.
Can You Refreeze Preserved Lemons? Yes
Do Preserved Lemons Freeze Well? Yes
How to Freeze Preserved Lemons
The simple fact is that preserved lemons have typically been packed in sugar or salt very efficiently. This means that it would usually be more hassle than it’s worth to pull them out and freeze them in any particular way.
Instead, we would suggest simply transferring the container that they’re packed into the freezer.
- Check the Container: We recommend starting by ensuring that the container is clean and sealed on all sides – a gaping hole will introduce moisture to the package, which will begin to dissolve the powder they’re packed in, leading to spoilage.
- Wrap: Once you’ve ensured the package is structurally sound, we suggest wrapping it in a layer of plastic wrap. This will ensure that it is entirely sealed or as close as possible, meaning that no moisture can get into the package.
- Label and Freeze: Label the outermost layer of the container, and then transfer it to the freezer, allowing it to become frozen over time.
Yes, you can freeze mason jars. Although you need to be careful with glass jars in the freezer, providing they are not completely full, they can be frozen. Problems occur when they contain liquids which expand resulting in the jar cracking.
3 Tips for Freezing Preserved Lemons
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing preserved lemons to have the best results:
Don’t Disturb the Powder They’re In
The enemy of lemons, both when preserved and frozen, is excess moisture. To that end, we suggest ensuring that you don’t disturb the powder, as that can introduce moisture from the air, leading to spoilage.
They Can Be Stored (Almost) Indefinitely
Since the lemons are exceptionally dry in the container they’re in, they can be kept in the freezer without freezer burn setting in for a long, long time.
Ensure a Tight Seal
Aside from concerns about moisture getting into the container, preserved lemons will easily absorb the odours of your freezer, which is, not a great thing! This could mean that your bakes and recipes are flavoured, so it seems, with a little freezer staleness – this is less than ideal.
How Long Can You Freeze Preserved Lemons?
You can freeze preserved lemons for an exceptionally long time, almost indefinitely, in fact.
This is because preserved lemons have much less liquid in them than most other forms of lemon that you might encounter. This, in turn, means they’re virtually immune to freezer burn.
On top of this, the sugar or salt they’re packed in provides some layer of protection between the lemons and the frost of your freezer, preventing freezer burn even further!
How Do You Defrost Preserved Lemons?
The best way to defrost preserved lemons is to retrieve as many as you want from the container they’re preserved in before allowing them to thaw to fridge temperature overnight.
We recommend thawing them in the fridge, a typically moist atmosphere, because this is likely to breathe a little life into them through the addition of condensation and moisture in that environment.
Can You Refreeze Preserved Lemons?
Yes, you should be able to refreeze preserved lemons perfectly well. To make this happen, we would recommend introducing a small divot to the surface of the powder that the other lemons are preserved in, pressing the lemon into it, and then covering up that piece of lemon with the powder.
This will draw moisture from the lemon as it freezes, allowing it to be kept for longer.
If you’d rather avoid the powder for the lemon that you’re freezing, then you might consider simply placing the amount of lemon you’ve got left over into a freezer bag and place that in the freezer – make sure to use that before the preserved lemons, however.
Do Preserved Lemons Freeze Well?
Yes, preserved lemons do freeze well. As a general rule of thumb, we would say that anything with a low moisture content tends to freeze especially well.
Since preserved lemons have an especially low moisture content thanks to the power they’re packed in, they will freeze very well.
This process could be applied to nearly anything that you’re trying to freeze since moisture is the source of so many different freezing-based problems. To ensure that you can get well-frozen items, avoid moisture where possible.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing preserved lemons or lemons in general, then these may help:
Preserved lemons will keep for between 4 and 6 months in the cupboard or fridge depending on the method for preserving them.
No, preserved lemons do not need to be kept in the fridge. They need to be kept in an airtight container in the kitchen cupboard away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations
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