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Meyer Lemons - best use of 6 beauties!

DebitNM Feb 19, 2009 11:33 AM

My only souveniers from recent San Francisco visit were 6 lovely meyer lemons [do to an unexpected early, hasty departure].

I saw a great list of things on LA Times website for 100 things to do with the lemons, but few had actual recipes.

So, I ask those of you who are fortunate enough to have these wonderous gems as local produce, what do you make with them? Thinking dessert wise, but will explore other possibilities. I know how to just juice them and freeze for later use, candying the peel, and making lincello, so looking for other ideas.

Time is of the essence, since they don't have too long a shelf life after picking.


  1. Funwithfood Apr 15, 2009 03:43 PM

    I make a killer drink with them and Spiced Rum. (Posted it a couple years back)

    1. r
      rememberme Feb 27, 2009 04:47 AM

      So funny -- I just came back from a week in SF and LA, the trees were just loaded with lemons, (and I saw a kumquat tree!) and thought about how excited you all would be if you could have this beautiful fruit. I only brought one lemon back, but it's sitting on my table as an icon.

      1. v
        vegemitegirl Feb 24, 2009 07:39 PM

        I found a great lemon pound cake recipe in Cook's Illustrated, and I love using it for Meyer Lemons.I've made it a bunch of times, and it's SO much better with Meyers, hands down.

        If you're not a cook's illustrated member, the recipe's easily googled, ie:


        6 Replies
        1. re: vegemitegirl
          JoanN Feb 26, 2009 03:39 PM

          I had the Meyer lemons, today is my mom's 91st birthday, so I made her this cake. She just loves it. I had also brought with me some lemon curd. Thought it might be too much of same, same, but Mom's decided there can't be too much of Meyer lemon anything.

          Thanks so much for linking to this. It was just perfect.

          1. re: JoanN
            oakjoan Feb 26, 2009 10:34 PM

            JoanN: Your mother is right. There is never too much Meyer lemon anything. I had a great pork chop last weekend at a neighborhood bistro here in Oakland and it had a Meyer lemon sort of relish/salsa served with it. Quite delicious. I'm trying to figure out what was in it, therefore I have to go to the same place and have it again. In the name of science, of course.

          2. re: vegemitegirl
            DebitNM Feb 26, 2009 04:09 PM

            I so want to use my last lemon making this pound cake, but I am not confident about making it at 6100 feet altitude. Any one have suggestions?

            1. re: DebitNM
              JoanN Feb 26, 2009 04:25 PM

              Sea level gal here, so no advice on altitude baking. But I will tell you that you can't make the pound cake as written with only one Meyer lemon. If I recall correctly, I needed four for the zest and two-and-a-half for the juice including the glaze, which is part of the charm of the cake and shouldn't be omitted. I'd save this for when you have more lemons and pair it with another recipe that calls for more juice than zest.

              1. re: JoanN
                rememberme Feb 27, 2009 04:47 AM

                Can you zest and juice the lemon and save that in your freezer until you get more?

                1. re: rememberme
                  JoanN Apr 15, 2009 02:17 PM

                  Sorry, I'm only just now seeing this.

                  Yes, you can freeze both. I usually freeze the juice in an ice cube tray with an ounce of juice in each depression. The zest I freeze in individually wrapped plastic-wrap packets with the zest of 1 lemon in each. The zest changes volume when frozen and since most recipes call for the zest of half or a whole lemon, I find it easiest to measure if I know the contents of each packet. I put the individual packets in a zip-top baggie, getting as much air out as possible. There are those who say the flavor of frozen zest (not the juice) is somewhat degraded, but that's not been my experience when it's been wrapped properly.

          3. DebitNM Feb 22, 2009 09:06 AM

            I wanted to try and improvise a dish we had in SF - it was lobster ravioli with a Meyer Lemon sauce. I found this and made it last night. Only change was from hazelnuts to pine nuts, as they are more readily available here in SW andwe love their taste. The dish was excellent! I wil not change anything else in recipe. This is a keeper. So easy and wow, it was great.



            1. s
              Sam D. Feb 20, 2009 04:01 PM

              I have used Meyer lemons in this recipe for Lemon Upside-Down Cake from the LA Times and the result was really delish.


              1. c
                cettlinger Feb 20, 2009 04:00 PM

                I just made Meyer Lemon Bars--I used Ina's recipe, substituted Meyer lemons for regular.

                1. k
                  KiltedCook Feb 20, 2009 12:32 PM

                  I'd make a batch of 10 Minute Marmalade. Wash the fruit and chop it fine. Put the chopped fruit in a large glass bowl, with an equal amount of sugar. Stir to combine. Microwave on HI for 4 minutes. Stir. Nuke again for 4-8 minutes in two minute increments until it starts to gel. Cool, then place in jars and store in the fridge.

                  1. 1
                    18465 Feb 20, 2009 08:57 AM

                    six are enough for a one quart batch of limoncello. Just let it sit for a few weeks. While you can buy meyer lemons in many regions of the country these days, they are NOTHING compared to the ones you get that are tree ripened in CA. I get a friend to ship them to me from her tree and the difference is almost between a regular lemon and a whole foods meyer lemon.

                    1. DebitNM Feb 20, 2009 06:03 AM

                      Thank you all for all of the great ideas and suggestions. Will start in today!

                      1. z
                        ziggylu Feb 19, 2009 08:13 PM

                        My meyer lemon tree is finally mature enough to produce some lemons. I had about 20 this year...next year will be its 4th year so looking forward to a much bigger harvest then.

                        Anyway, we've used ours in a couple roast chickens. Sliced thinly and under the skin with some herbs. I made a risotto with one. I made some lemon custard cakes. Have made vinaigrettes as well.

                        We like them squeezed in sparkling water which was mentioned above.

                        I think I'm going to use the ones I still have left on the tree for some marmalade.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ziggylu
                          kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 08:25 PM

                          In rum is even better :) Risotto is great, love it. Even a simple basmati rice some herbs and the lemon. Great flavor or Jasmine rice as well.

                        2. d
                          don515 Feb 19, 2009 04:42 PM

                          Roasted lemon salsa!


                          Best after 3-7 day in fridge then ok to use and ok to freeze

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: don515
                            kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 04:46 PM

                            Very interesting, never thought of it.

                            1. re: kchurchill5
                              don515 Feb 19, 2009 04:54 PM

                              It's is great stuff try marinating chicken in it before the grill. You will cry when a piece of lemon drops between the grates...

                              1. re: don515
                                kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 05:02 PM

                                Love for a marinade, never did the lemon salsa ... olive oil red pepper, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and shallot with the lemon makes an awesome marinade ... perfect. Fish and chicken

                            2. re: don515
                              MMRuth Jan 27, 2010 05:29 AM

                              I've roasted the lemons for this and have lovely lemon juice mixed with olive oil in the bottom of the baking dish. The recipe doesn't call for using it - I guess I could make a salad dressing out of it - any other ideas?

                            3. pikawicca Feb 19, 2009 01:27 PM

                              I had a taste of the "Bouchon" lemon tart that Candy made using Meyers -- totally terrific! I also am very fond of the Epicurious Meyer Lemon/Cranberry scone recipe.

                              1. Ruth Lafler Feb 19, 2009 01:20 PM

                                It's enough to make lemon curd -- I made some a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome. And the lemon curd will keep and go a long way.


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                  Annemarsden Nov 14, 2011 07:00 PM

                                  Ruth, I know this is years later but I wanted you to know that I found your post, clicked to try epicurious link and used it as a base for my first Meyer lemon curd. I modified to use our own honey (we raise honey bees) and it is just awesome! Thanks for getting me started! So excited to use our lemons. We are in Atlanta and only get a few each year ( they take forever to ripen!) But it's exciting to use these.. Thanks for your guidance.

                                  1. re: Annemarsden
                                    Ruth Lafler Nov 14, 2011 07:32 PM

                                    I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

                                2. trolley Feb 19, 2009 12:12 PM

                                  i hope it's not too simple for you but i make fresh lemonade with mine. i squeeze with a reamer and add superfine sugar. mix it up and add sparking soda or just plain purified water. add a few ice cubes. i love the taste of the meyer lemon and sometimes i feel it can get lost in the cooking/baking process. for tarts and such i use regular lemon to get more of a tang which i enjoy in lemony desserts. i know you're thinking dessert but it's also lovely on salad with some olive oil, sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: trolley
                                    MMRuth Feb 19, 2009 12:13 PM

                                    I love the taste of it just with a nice squeeze into a glass of sparkling mineral water. Lately I've been adding a dash of bitters.

                                    1. re: trolley
                                      oakjoan Feb 26, 2009 10:27 PM

                                      I haven't tried this with lemons yet, but I make limeade ala an old book of Thai recipes I used to have, using the shells of the squeezed limes actually IN the limeade. It gives it a great tang.

                                    2. kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 12:06 PM

                                      Me, I love to make 4 things:
                                      I like to make a thin poppyseed cookie with a nice creamy lemon filling. My favorite
                                      Second ;;; My pan seared crusted chicken is lemon basil with a lemon cream pasta
                                      Third. My lemon dressing for fresh arugula and fresh parm
                                      Fourth Basically it is a lemon mojito ... For the most part. It is like a tangy lemonade.

                                      Ok ... five ...
                                      Lemon butter to spread on fish, scallops and seafood. It is amazing with the meyer lemons. A little cilantro and perfect for fresh fish. Salt and pepper and nothing else.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: kchurchill5
                                        katecm Feb 19, 2009 01:07 PM

                                        Those savory ones reminded me of a chicken dish. Cut your lemons into thin slices, place on parchment and brush with oil. Bake them at about 315 until they are golden brown.

                                        Brown your chicken and remove. Saute shallots and garlic until soft. Add in spinach or another green and wilt it. Deglaze with wine, finish with stock and cook down. Add your chicken back in and finish cooking. A few minutes before it's done, add in your whole lemon slices. They're totally edible and mellow. You can throw anything you want in here, too - mushrooms are particularly good. Olives, too.

                                        1. re: katecm
                                          kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 01:16 PM

                                          Nice, good to me. I will post mine after dinner, just cooking early for me, but no lunch ... Will post in just a bit. Nice simple good flavor with the lemon basil, could easily be used on crispy fried fish or even shrimp and scallops.

                                      2. k
                                        katecm Feb 19, 2009 11:59 AM

                                        This will only use one or two, dependon on their size, but it's a ridiculously delicious start.


                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: katecm
                                          DebitNM Feb 19, 2009 12:56 PM

                                          That looks devine! I need to see about making adjustments to the tart shell since I live at 6200 feet and baking here is a bit tricky. Thanks for the link!

                                          1. re: katecm
                                            DebitNM Feb 22, 2009 09:03 AM

                                            Made the tart last night; first time ever making a tart. The crust came out perfect; the filling not so much. It took way longer to cook and setup; I took it out and it was still-- what I thought --was not set enough. There were some butter puddles that formed on top. The top was carmelizing alot since I had to leave it in longer to cook; got worried about burning.

                                            The real dissappointment for me was the cloyingly sweet first taste and then a very bitter, aftertaste.
                                            The early reviews on her site were glowing and about half way down, there started to be complaints - I should have listened to that group.
                                            I wasted a lemon on this one


                                            1. re: DebitNM
                                              JoanN Feb 22, 2009 01:54 PM

                                              Sorry that didn't work for you. Take a look at this recipe. It's my favorite for the lemon curd and it only uses 3 or 4 lemons. Her sweet tart crust is excellent, but difficult to work with. You might consider using the crust you had success with, but use the curd recipe and baking instructions from "The Sweet Life."


                                              If you do decide to do that, a tip: I blind bake the crust and after it's cooled for about three minutes, I brush the bottom with about 1/2 of a beaten egg white. The residual heat in the crust cooks the white, sealing the bottom crust so that it remains crispy when you pour in and bake the curd.

                                              1. re: JoanN
                                                DebitNM Feb 22, 2009 02:10 PM

                                                That is a great tip Joan. Thanks for the alternate recipe for the curd. I really think the culprit was using the ENTIRE lemon. I think the pith was the underlying factor for the bitter aftertaste - it was almost metallic. I should have just used the zest and then peeled off the pith and used the fruit with the zest.


                                                1. re: DebitNM
                                                  katecm Feb 23, 2009 06:38 AM

                                                  So sorry to hear that - I wonder what went wrong. It's one of my absolute favorite recipes. This is interesting.

                                                  1. re: katecm
                                                    DebitNM Feb 24, 2009 09:32 AM

                                                    The crust was excellent, time consuming but great results and even though I live at 6200 feet, I had no altitude problems with the crust.

                                                    Once the tart cooled, it did set up better. I did not have a push up bottom" pan, so in retrospect, I should have let it cool more before cutting and attempting to serve.


                                            2. re: katecm
                                              Sam D. Apr 4, 2009 03:19 AM

                                              I saved the whole lemon tart recipe from Smitten Kitchen back when this thread was alive. And yesterday I finally got around to making it. After reading Deb's experience, I tried using a sweet lemon instead of a Meyer lemon. A sweet lemon is less acidic with a thinner skin that is less bitter. I parbaked the crust in the tart pan and let it cool before I filled it. Then I left it in the pan to bake. It took 10-15 minutes longer than the recipe called for to set up. It came out with the top of the moderately carmelized and it looked quite appetizing. Once it had cooled and I sampled a slice, I knew that because I used the mild sweet lemon, I should have cut back on the sugar. The flavor of the pulverized lemon peel still came through with a nice balance. But it was still overly sweet and what it lacked was the lemony tartness that comes from the juice of a standard lemon. I also think amount of butter could be safely reduced because using 4 ounces in the filling made it quite rich.

                                              So Deb’s result was too much bitterness and mine was too much blandness.

                                              I do like the basic simplicity in this recipe and I still think it has promise but definitely needs some tweaking. So I’m going to try at least once again.

                                              1. re: Sam D.
                                                DebitNM Apr 14, 2009 06:02 PM

                                                I have not given up on this; I just purchased my very own tart pan and will revisit this recipe, but will have to use frozen meyer lemon juice as that is all that remains!

                                                Thanks for bringing this back to life.

                                            3. HaagenDazs Feb 19, 2009 11:51 AM

                                              You have enough for candying the peel but not enough for limoncello by a long shot. My suggestion is preserve them. There are lots of preserved lemon recipes out there... salt, lemons, jar, juice. That's about it. A few weeks and months go by and you've got something special!

                                              Meyer lemons are nice but they are fairly common in most nicer markets. Whole Foods often has them for instance... and I'm in Atlanta. So while, I understand your desire to use them, and use them you should, I wouldn't look too hard for a life altering dish to use them in. ;-)

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: HaagenDazs
                                                DebitNM Feb 19, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                I live in a tiny town in SW Colorado, the nearest Whole Foods is 250 miles away. So these are a real treat for me.

                                                1. re: DebitNM
                                                  kchurchill5 Feb 19, 2009 12:24 PM

                                                  I have a tree at my best friends house. She hates lemons. I get 20-30 per day for about 3 months

                                                  Not to rub it in. I freeze a lot in cubes. Then you can use them whenever you need pure lemon juice.

                                                2. re: HaagenDazs
                                                  pikawicca Feb 19, 2009 05:46 PM

                                                  My experience trying to candy Meyer lemon peel is that you can't -- it's way too thin. Best to use organic, "regular" lemons.

                                                  1. re: pikawicca
                                                    MMRuth Feb 19, 2009 05:56 PM

                                                    I candied some using the peel left over from Goin's Meyer lemon curd that I made over Christmas. I agree that the skin is thinner, but the candied peel turned out well and was delicious.

                                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                                      JoanN Feb 20, 2009 06:23 AM

                                                      Actually, I think that's the beauty of candied Meyer lemon peel. I candy julienned strips and use them to decorate lemon curd and fresh berry tarts. As a matter of fact, I'm doing just that right now for a Meyer lemon tart that should end up looking like this one I made last year.

                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                        DebitNM Feb 20, 2009 08:11 AM

                                                        Looks devine!

                                                  2. j
                                                    janniecooks Feb 19, 2009 11:48 AM

                                                    a search of this board for meyer in the title of the thread returns numerous threads on this topic. Here are some that may be helpful:


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