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Meyer Lemons: Recipes and Storage


Andrew Fenton
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My cousin lives in California and has a Meyer lemon tree. Once a year or so, he sends me a big box of lemons and I go on a lemon cooking spree. The ideal, of course, is to use them recipes in which their flavor will really stand out.

So far I've made a lemon sponge pudding (probably my favorite lemon dessert, but one that works just as well with regular lemons) and a sorbet (you can really taste the Meyer-ness in this one, but how much sorbet can I eat?)

I still have about a dozen left: any suggestions?

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A meyer lemon tart would be lovely, with a meyer lemon curd. I'll bet you could make preserved lemons, too, that would allow you to keep the lemons longer and use them in a variety of savory dishes.

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I find that the flavor of Meyer lemons comes through best in relatively simple preparations with minimal cooking. Meyer lemon curd is great (if you're using a recipe for regular lemons, remember to cut down on the sugar). Lemonade with Meyers is wonderful, as are Lemon Drops and Margaritas.

For savory dishes, try using Meyer lemon juice in a beurre blanc or a hollandaise, or aioli.

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I'll bet you could make preserved lemons, too, that would allow you to keep the lemons longer and use them in a variety of savory dishes.

Actually, I already have a jar of preserved Meyers in the fridge (thanks, Mom!) that I use now and then.

Gremolata is a definite go: I can make sure I use every bit of the zest!

Meyer lemonade seems... decadent, somehow. Which is probably a plus, now that I think about it...

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Gremolata is a definite go: I can make sure I use every bit of the zest!

Meyer lemonade seems... decadent, somehow.  Which is probably a plus, now that I think about it...

Well, after you've removed all the zest, you have to do something with the juice, right?

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Meyer Lemon Marmalade

I used a Nigella recipe for grapefruit marmalade as a guide. Simmer the whole fruit gently for an hour, let cool, and chop (you can pick out seeds and any thick membranes). Add sugar to taste and cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 15 minutes. You can also use the cold plate test to see when the jam is set.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I decided to make a lemon tart, then changed that to a lemon meringue pie... For some reason, though, I only put a couple of spoonfuls of sugar into the meringue. (I think I was thinking of whipped cream, if I was thinking at all...) The crust was fine, the Meyer lemon custard part was wonderful, the meringue was... odd. I wondered why it wasn't browning in the over: guess the sugar really does help!

So I stripped off the meringue and had a lemon tart after all! :laugh:

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Would it be a waste to infuse vodka?  Rum?

It's never a waste to infuse vodka. Seriously, Meyer infused vodka is a great thing. Haven't tried to infuse rum.

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What is different or special about Meyer lemons?  I've never heard of them before.

Meyer lemons have thinner skins than Eurekas, are much sweeter and are more fragrant, with a hint of orange blossom in the scent (the Meyer lemon is thought to be a cross between a tangerine and a lemon). They tend to be smaller and rounder than Eurekas; the skins are smoother and slightly on the orange end of the spectrum.

They're not as durable to ship, so you don't see them in markets as often, but they grow well in Northern California so around here, many people have their own trees.

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It's never a waste to infuse vodka. Seriously, Meyer infused vodka is a great thing. Haven't tried to infuse rum.

Would it be a waste to try to make meyer lemon limoncello? I recently had the mixed pleasure of attending a cooking demonstration by Giuliano Bugialli during which he made limoncello, or, rather, started off the prodecure. His method was as follows:

Find a cookie jar with a hollowed-out spot in the underside of the top, where the knob/handle of the lid is.

Cut a cork to tightly fit that hollow.

using cheesecloth secured by the tightly fitting cork, suspend the lemon inside the cookie jar.

Pour 4 cups of grain alcohol in the cookie jar, and replace the top. The lemon should not touch the booze below.

Secure the top with tape, and put the cookie jar full of proto-limoncello somewhere safe, where it won't get jostled and splash the lemon.

After a month, the limonello is ready to be mixed with simple syrup to your taste.

I'll admit, this looks like an awful pain in the ass, but, in practice, it'd probably be quite easy. At the very least, it could become a conversation piece:

Q: Um... Why are you suspending a lemon in a sack over clear liquid in that jar?

A (Said with a dark scowl): So it'll finally LEARN!

A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

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I make limoncello out of Meyer lemons, and it's definitely not a waste....

Bugialli's method sounds interesting and will probably be smoother than the more common technique of soaking the zest. It's almost impossible to not get some pith in there, too, and that makes the limoncello a little bitter. But it's still really, really good.

I zest a dozen or lemons and add that to 750 ml grain alcohol (aka Everclear). Let it soak for a couple of months, then strain and dilute to taste with simple syrup. I go about 50:50 so I end up with 95 proof limoncello.

Make it now, and you can drink it when the warm weather comes.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I make limoncello out of Meyer lemons, and it's definitely not a waste....

Bugialli's method sounds interesting and will probably be smoother than the more common technique of soaking the zest. It's almost impossible to not get some pith in there, too, and that makes the limoncello a little bitter. But it's still really, really good.

I zest a dozen or lemons and add that to 750 ml grain alcohol (aka Everclear). Let it soak for a couple of months, then strain and dilute to taste with simple syrup. I go about 50:50 so I end up with 95 proof limoncello.

Make it now, and you can drink it when the warm weather comes.

Jim

I use the exact same method as you do to make Limoncello (I still have one bottle in the freezer and another in the pantry from the last batch) but I use 100 proof Vodka instead of grain liquor. I make sure to strain the liquid using a cheesecloth to remove any piths or particles. Very tasty treat.

However using Bugialli's method, does the liquid turn yellow also or is it just like flavored Vodka...clear?

As for the meyers, slice them paper thin and bake on tope of some fish in the oven.

marmalade and Jam have already been mentioned as have the curd tart but they are excellent.

FM

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I just got a few slightly green Meyers from my source in SF (she has a tree in her yard), so there may still be some in the markets.

I've used other citrus, too. I made one batch of kumquat-cello last year (it was good...just tossed them into the alcohol whole) and have another brewing. I'm most excited about my satsuma-cello, which is about ready to strain. I sliced the zest off the thick, pliable skins of satsuma mandarins. You can press the peel flat and slice it horizontally with a sharp knife so you get very little pith.

Adam B reported in that kumquat thread that he's purchased a citron based version, so I'm on the lookout for Buddha's hand.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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