HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


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.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    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.

                      2. 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

                          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.

                        2. 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. Roasted lemon salsa!


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

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: don515

                              Very interesting, never thought of it.

                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                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

                                  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

                                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. 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

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

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

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


                                          1. 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. 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

                                                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

                                                  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

                                                  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

                                                    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

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

                                                      1. re: rememberme

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