Roberta: Someone recently brought me a bag of Meyer lemons. I have never heard of or seen a Meyer before and wonder if you could help me find some recipes for them?
Well, let me start out by saying Meyer lemons rock my world!! I absolutely love them. Meyers are sweeter and more fragrant than the Eureka lemons that we grew up with. Meyers originally came from China and are believed to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin. Meyers have a deeper and richer color, and I substitute them every chance I get for the Eureka. I am happy to share several of my favorite recipes for them.
Meyer Lemon Sorbet
This is a favorite at Tess’ Kitchen.
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2-1/4 cups freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon zest *
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer without stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool completely. This is called a simple syrup, and may be made ahead in larger quantities to have on hand for making Fresh Lemon Sorbet. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
When cool, add the lemon juice and zest; stir to combine. Turn the machine on. Pour the lemon mixture into the freezer bowl, and mix until the mixture thickens, about 25 to 30 minutes. The sorbet will have a soft texture similar to a freshly scooped Italian ice. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours.
Creamy Meyer Lemon
2 Tablespoons Meyer lemon juice from about 1 large meyer lemon
2 Tablespoon olive oil
about 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to personal taste
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and dress greens of your choice.
Preserved Meyer Lemons- these are used in Moroccan Cuisine
8-10 Meyer lemons*, scrubbed very clean
1/2 cup kosher salt, more if needed
Extra fresh squeezed lemon juice, if needed
Sterilized quart canning jar
1. Place 2 Tbsp of salt in the bottom of a sterilized jar.
2. One by one, prepare the lemons in the following way. Cut off any protruding stems from the lemons, and cut 1/4 inch off the tip of each lemon. Cut the lemons as if you were going to cut them in half lengthwise, starting from the tip, but do not cut all the way. Keep the lemon attached at the base. Make another cut in a similar manner, so now the lemon is quartered, but again, attached at the base.
3. Pry the lemons open and generously sprinkle salt all over the insides and outsides of the lemons.
4. Pack the lemons in the jar, squishing them down so that juice is extracted and the lemon juice rises to the top of the jar. Fill up the jar with lemons, make sure the top is covered with lemon juice. Add more fresh squeezed lemon juice if necessary. Top with a couple tablespoons of salt.
5. Seal the jar and let sit at room temperature for a couple days. Turn the jar upside down occasionally. Put in refrigerator and let sit, again turning upside down occasionally, for at least 3 weeks, until lemon rinds soften.
6. To use, remove a lemon from the jar and rinse thoroughly in water to remove salt. Discard seeds before using. Discard the pulp before using, if desired.
7. Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Note: You can add spices to the lemons for preserving - cloves, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf.
Roberta DesBouillons is the in-house chef at Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and used to own/operate Apron Strings Cooking School in San Francisco. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.