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Feb 19, 2009 11:33 AM

Meyer Lemons - best use of 6 beauties!

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.


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    1. 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

        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

          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

          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

            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

              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.

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


            8 Replies
            1. re: katecm

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

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

                      1. re: katecm

                        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

                  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.

                    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. 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

                    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

                      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. 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

                      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

                        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.