Seasonal Feature: Meyer Lemon
Introduced to the US back in 1908 by Frank Meyer, the Meyer lemon is thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. This Chinese native finally gained popularity when Alice Waters began using the fruit at Chez Panisse during the California Culinary Revolution.
Compared to a regular lemon, the Meyer lemon is smaller, rounder in shape with a thin, soft rind. When fully ripe, the lemon takes on a golden hue and produces a strong, sweet aroma.
Meyer lemons have less acid than regular lemons and their juice is more complex and fruity. Because the juice is sweeter, you’ll need less sugar when cooking or baking with them.
How to Use
Meyer lemons are harvested in California between November and April. Buy ones with smooth golden skin that feel heavy for their size. Remove the peel with a microplane grater and squeeze out the juice. Try these simple ideas:
- Add the juice to your favorite salad dressing recipe for a fruitier taste.
- Squeeze the juice over fresh sautéed vegetables to brighten the flavors.
- Use the juice and zest in your favorite lemon soufflé or lemon meringue pie recipe.
- Mix fresh juice, sugar and water to make lemonade. When it’s cold outside, it will remind you of summer.
- Grind up the leftover peel in your garbage disposal to keep it (and your kitchen) smelling fresh.
- Freeze zest and juice in an ice cube tray. Once solid, store the cubes in a resealable plastic freezer bag. Each cube is approximately 1½ tablespoons. Use when Meyer lemons are no longer in season.