Mom's Mayer Lemons/What do I do with them ALL!!!
- iL Divo Dec 28, 2006 09:33 PM
Hi there. My mother has gorgeous Myer lemons on her tree in Fillmore California. Every time I'm there, I take about a hundred of the little guys off her tree and zest/juice then freeze.
What the heck does one do with them?
Any idea for a quick bread that could also be a cake type thing for dinner, uh, TONIGHT?
much thanks for any expeditious help.....................
If you want to use them tonight ...
squeeze some juice and grate some zest, add to a simple syrup and make sorbet or granita. Or use the juice to make a sugar frosting for a homemade or bought cake.
Or you can make a citrus almond cake ... traditionally made with oranges, I've seen variations with clementines and meyer lemons (there's a thread currently on here and if you good Orange Almond cake with Claudia Roden or Nigella Lawson, you could find something). Lemon curd is another option.
You could also peel them with a knife, removing all the pith, and slice t hem or section them, shingle them in a gratin dish, sprinkle some sugar and brulee them under the broiler for a bit and serve with a dark sticky ginger cake.
for a savory option, you can cut the lemons into thinner wedges and roast them with chicken to get them caramelized and soft. quite good.
if you can wait a while, I second the preserved lemons, Moroccan style. Meyer lemon marmalade is quite tasty, too.
candy the peel and make lemon curd, lemon cake, lemon granita, etc from the juice. The candied peel is fantastic. I made some last week and laid strips of it on some poached seabass with fennel pollen.
I made a Meyer Lemon Curd Tart with candied Meyer lemon rind for a dinner party last night. Used the recipe from The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle by Kate Zuckerman. It was outstanding. My guests had seconds and hinted strongly that they wanted a doggie bag.
The Mayer Lemon Dried Cranberry Scone recipe on epicurious is excellent. Candy's Mayer lemon curd is also first-rate (my husband has inhaled it all).
Make Shaker lemon pie. It is wonderful with Meyers. We have a small tree which currently has 10 lemons on it, several of which are earmarked for pie.
The first 4 went into a lemon cream from Dorie Greenspan's Baking book - I highly recommend this. It's fairly quick and easy and makes a silky smooth cream, lighter and fluffier than curd.
The recipe I've used is from Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Pastry. It's for regular lemons so adjust for size if your Meyers are on the small side (I used 4). Here it is (paraphrased):
Pastry for 2-crust 8" or 9" pie.
3 lemons, sliced paper-thin
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten
Lemons can be sliced in a mandoline or with a very sharp knife. Clayton says he slices 2 lemons by hand and processes the third one with the little end bits from the 2 hand-sliced ones and mixes them together.
Slice lemons, catching juices. Place slices and juice in bowl and pour in sugar. Mix well and leave for at least 2 hours (I left mine overnight).
Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare pie pan with bottom crust.
Beat eggs, add sugared lemons and stir together. Pour or spoon into shell. Top with pastry. Cut vents to allow steam to escape.
Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350F and continue baking for about 40 minutes, until crust is light golden and juices bubble through vents. A knife inserted should show that the custard is set.
That's it! It's dead simple and relies entirely on the lemons for it's wonderful aroma and tart/sweet flavor. I make this in a 12" pan, doubling the filling ingredients. Some Meyers can be smallish so adjust for size - remember the recipe is for regular lemons, not Meyers.
I find that when I have such a wealth of them and I know I am using them rather than having them fall off the tree & go to waste- they get sliced or quartered and tossed into every marinade, roast, braise etc. Especially w/ Meyers (and I am often gifted with every type of citrus- about to ask the neighbor if I can take a weight of kumquats off her tree..) the issue of bitterness is not big. Squeeze them into anything that needs a tart tasty zing. Try not to think of them as an "ingredient" but rather almost like salt or pepper- it just goes everywhere. People will wonder what your "secret ingredient" is.
Lemon Herb Bread--a tea bread. Buttery and wonderful. The true esscence of lemon (and butter!) Serve with tea for dessert rather than coffee.
**here's a version I found on the web, but I'd ignore the rec to use regular thyme if the lemon-scented herbs are impossible to find this time of year. (You should be able to find some lemon thyme plants in 4" pots at any independant nursery in So Cal even in winter)Just add a bit more lemon juice and twice as much fresh zest. Also, if you pour the glaze over a VERY WARM loaf, it soaks in and isn't that nasty sugary coating over the top.
I just made this recipe this weekend and it was FABULOUS. I pretty much ate all of the cake myself in the past few days!
Meyer Lemon Pound Cake:
Also, since I didn't have a loaf pan, I used my bundt pan. It came out perfectly. I just cut down the baking time to about 30 minutes.
Since the curd in this one looked a bit thin, I used the Cook's Illustrated version. The curd was so good..
With the leftover curd, I made littie phyllo tartlets and those turned out really well.
Also, you can never go wrong with ice cream or sorbet!
my mom's are large sized for lemons. I don't know if that's really typical as my cousin has a Myer lemon tree in his back yard in Malibu and his are on the small side. Both though are very juicy, I mean the juice that comes of out either of the varieties is plentiful.
I'm thinking that for tonights' dinner, I may do the pie recipe here or a lemon cake with lemon zest, lemon extract, lemon juice and a lemon glaze with the same above listed. My husband adores anything lemon.
There is a cookie recipe in the holiday Bon Appetite w/ myer lemons & ricotta. It looks really yummy.
well at this point, being in southern california and given our latest freeze, I think no lemons, limes, oranges or grapefruit for me or anyone. all have died on the tree due to frost. all of my cactus is dead too........