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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Preserved Lemons/Limes - Domestic Goddess

    I am planning to make a few of the jam recipes from How To Be a Domestic Goddess. I also want to try my hand at the preserved lemon but wanted to find out the shelf life before I start. Whats the reccomendation?

    From the nigella team:

    Most jams will keep for up to one year unopened, providing that the jars have been properly sterilized and the jams are kept in a cool, dark place. We would recommend refrigerating any jams after opening and using opened ones within one month.

    Unfortunately there isn't a recipe for preserved lemons in Domestic Goddess but there is one for Lime Pickles (p361) and we assume this may be the recipe you are thinking of. Again the jars should be sterilized before the limes and oil are packed in and unopened they should last a year. As the limes are in oil they should keep at room temperature for a month once opened but in very warm weather we feel it may be safer to keep them in the fridge. The oil may turn slightly cloudy in the fridge but this is normal for oil kept in cold conditions. Bring the pickle back to room temperature before serving.

    Regular Moroccan-style preserved lemons should also keep for up to a year and again we would prefer to keep them in the fridge once opened (they will last about 6 months in the fridge once opened).

    To sterilize jars you can run them through the dishwasher - but make sure that you don't touch the inside of the jars once clean. You can also wash the jars in hot, soapy water, rinse well with hot water and dry with a clean tea towel then warm them for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 140c/gas mk 1/275F. Always put warm liquids such as jam into warm jars, to prevent the glass from cracking.

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