Ripe limes are tasty, but you may have an abundance and can’t use them all at once. For those occasions, preserving limes is a lot like preserving lemons. Consider making a jar of these limes to have on hand.
You can preserve ripe limes and use them in a variety of ways, such as in soups, simmer sauces, vinaigrettes and marinades. But even more commonly used, it’s the preserved lime rinds that are put to work, not the juice or pulp.
How to Preserve Ripe Limes
Yield: 1 quart jar
- 8 to 10 fresh organic limes
- 3 to 4 tablespoons coarse kosher salt, more as needed
Scrub limes clean. Unless you are certain that the limes you are using are free of food-grade wax, it is worth taking the additional step to remove any wax that may be present on the fruit. To do so, put the limes in a colander in the sink and carefully pour boiling water over them.
Trim off the ends of the limes, and cut them into quarters lengthwise.
Generously sprinkle salt in the bottom of a clean quart jar and pack in one layer of sliced limes. Repeat the salting and layering method until the jar is full. Push down on, and gently smash the limes as you fill the jar so that some of the juice releases and there is no space between the slices, leaving 1½ inches of headspace from the final layer of limes and the rim of the jar.
Sprinkle one final layer of salt over the last layer of limes. Through this process, enough juice should be present to submerge the wedges. If not, juice another lime and pour the juice over the jarred slices until they’re completely submerged.
If you have a small fermentation jar weight, add it to the jar to keep the limes completely submerged under the brine.
Wipe the jar rim clean with a dampened paper towel or clean lint-free towel and add the canning jar lid and tighten on the ring.
Store the preserved lemons at room temperature, ideally between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep out of direct sunlight. The limes will keep preserved if they’re kept under the juice-salt brine.
How to Enjoy Preserved Limes
The preserved limes will have a potent citrus flavor but be saltier. You can decide to rinse the limes off before using or use them as-is, depending on what it is you’re using them for. For example, if you’re making a marinade, you could certainly leave the salty lime as they are. But if you are stirring the rind into a salad or rice, I’d recommend rinsing the lime off, removing the pulp and only chopping up the rind portion of the lime. It’s totally up to you!
Preserving Ripe Limes -Notes
To alter the flavor of the preserved limes, consider adding one to two teaspoons of dried hot pepper flakes within the layers, or a pinch of whole black peppercorns. Shove a couple of whole bay leaves within the sides of the jar or while layering limes and salt or incorporate a couple teaspoons of coriander.
If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using an easily removable small food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar to keep the layers submerged under the brine.
You may substitute fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt if you prefer. The measurement will remain the same.
This recipe has been adapted from WECK Home Preserving (2020) with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
This article about preserving ripe limes was written for Hobby Farms magazine. Click here to subscribe.