Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Bright and Sunshiny Lemon
For years I've loved the sweet lemon flavor of Meyer lemons and how nice they look, too, with their bright yellow skin almost the color of egg yolks. In its native China it was a decorative houseplant. In the early 1900s Frank N. Meyer brought it back to the U.S. as part of his job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
I've been fortunate now and again to have friends with too many Meyer lemons to use themselves who knew that I would gladly accept any they didn't need. I love to make lemon curd with them because they have just a bit of mandarin orange flavor, too and are not as acidic as regular Eureka lemons. Of course the regular lemons have a nice thick skin which means they can be shipped easily, so Meyer lemons which have a thin skin were until recently a treat for locals near where they grew, often being sold at farmers markets.
This year I have my own Meyer lemons! In the spring I purchased a dwarf Meyer lemon tree and planted it in a pot. The good news is that has allowed me to bring the tree under the shelter of our porch for most of the past month when we have had frosty nights. Lemon trees are not big fans of frost. The bad news is that the tree didn't grow as much as it might have if planted in the ground, so fewer lemons. They are also far from picture perfect lemons...I'm still learning how to protect them from their kind of pests.
I decided to use about 1/3 of the lemons the tree produced to make a coconut crusted Meyer lemon cheesecake. It took 6 of the lemons to make enough juice for the recipe and I was also able to use the zest from about half of them.
The cheesecake is in the fridge chilling, so no photo of it yet, but I can show you my lemons!
Do you have a favorite citrus recipe to use when it's citrus season? I'm always on the lookout for recipes using citrus, especially Meyer lemon.
Hopefully I'll add a photo of the cheesecake tomorrow. If I also add the recipe it will be in it's own post. In the meantime, here's some sunny yellow lemons.