I was recently the fortunate recipient (or one of a number of recipients) of the bounty of my friend, Neville's lime tree. So what to do with them? I drank some of them instead of my normal morning lemon juice, but then I remembered years ago making preserved limes. So that became my plan.
There are many recipes for both preserved lemons and preserved limes around on the web and in various cook books on my shelves. I kept it fairly simple with limes, cloves, cinnamon sticks and salt. I have purposefully been rather vague in my quantities as it depends on what you have on hand and what tastes good to you. I used 200 gr of salt flakes and I probably had a couple of dozen limes. This made three reasonably sized jars of limes and I used one cinnamon stick per jar and scatterings of cloves.
I remember from last time that I made them that they took quite a while to reach their prime: much longer than lemons. Now all I can do is put them away for a few months and see how they go. But I will keep on eye on them for a while and top them up with extra lime juice if they seem to be getting dry.
200 gr salt flakes
3 cinnamon sticks
Extra lime juice (if required)
Place the salt flakes in a large bowl
Quarter the limes and add to the salt
Mix thoroughly to ensure that the limes are coated
Cover and set aside for 24-36 hours
Meanwhile sterilize the jars you plan to use (I simply do this by putting them in the dishwasher)
Place some of the salt in the bottom of one of the jars and add the limes interspersing them with cinnamon stick and cloves
During the packing and particularly at the end use a spoon to squash down the fruit and release the juice
Be sure to leave space at the top of the jar as they will expand.
Repeat the process until all the limes and their liquid are in jars
Check the levels and if necessary squeeze extra lime juice and add to ensure that the limes are covered.
Observe them for a few days in case the limes are getting dry and add extra juice if necessary.
Then label them and store them high away in the top of the pantry for a few months!