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Lemon emulsion is especially designed for baking as it won't "bake out" like a juice or flavoring. If you are using an Lemon Extract, be sure it is all natural and has no added sweetener, like corn syrup. I found baking emulsions on line from a company called Lorann Professional Kitchen and the size was 4 oz....not a pint or quart like most bakery supply


Or try using preserved lemons. Here you use the peel but it is not bitter. My theory is that peels are bitter due to alkaloids. In preserving, these react with the acidic juice and both are neutralized. The salt acts to preserve it. Why it turned bitter later - most likely it took the extra cooking for the bitterness to transfer from the peels to the meat.


Softening lemon with water and all that jazz takes time. Best is microwave, just 30 - 45 seconds is enough to make it soft to squeeze more juice.


The recipe you describe is a "wild fermentation" recipe. So, as @Sobachatina said, the bubbles are a good sign, not a bad sign. The strategy with "wild fermentation" is to create an environment that gives "good microbes" an edge over "bad" ones, in such a way that their advantage continues to increase over time. Salt gives the good ones an initial edge--...

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