12.16.10 Sunny Side Up

Meyer lemons 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
I'm a sucker for citrus. It's such a relief when oranges, grapefruit and lemons begin flooding in from California and Florida at this time of year. Although I adore very tart lemons, I also love the lightly sweeter and more perfumey Meyer variety. Their smooth, thin skin is an electric golden yellow that seems to compensate, just a bit, for the lack of sunshine these days. I grabbed an armload at Fairway yesterday and, since they are a bit fragile and don't keep for so long, I'm going to immediately turn them into syrup and marmalade. The former will make wonderfully refreshing spritzers, especially with the addition of fresh rosemary. The latter will nicely cut through the rich fattiness of roasts or perhaps even our Christmas goose. And, of course, you can always preserve some lemons, as I've done again this year. Here's a recipe from last spring, along with one for chicken tagine, and a place to order organic Meyer lemons, if you're so inclined.
Preserved lemons1 790 xxx
This year I added some lightly toasted coriander seeds, green peppercorns, cinnamon sticks and a couple of bay leaves to my preserved lemons for a bit more complex spicing. The chopped rind is delicious mixed into rice, vegetable salads and all manner of mayonnaises and dressings. It may seem a bit confusing, but citrus foods are not acidifying to the body; they are, in fact, an alkalinizing food and an excellent detoxifier.

Try making this zesty syrup, and use it as indicated for spritzers or in a cocktail, or drizzled over pancakes, pound cake or lemon ice cream. And here's a very simple recipe for Meyer lemon marmalade. If you don't want to get all involved in canning, you can  just make a smaller quantity to keep in your fridge. And for truly divine decadence, here's a recipe for Meyer lemon curd. Want to save on fat and calories without sacrificing too much flavor? Scroll down here for my lowfat lemon curd recipe. As a rule of thumb, any time you want to substitute regular lemons for Meyer, just add a little more sugar or honey to compensate.

Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Spritzer

serves 6
  • — 4 cups water
  • — 1/2 cup organic cane sugar, or 2/3 cup mild honey
  • — 6 Meyer lemons, washed and thinly sliced (seeds removed)
  • — 3 sprigs rosemary
  • — 4 1/2 cups sparkling water, chilled

Bring water and sugar (or honey) to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lemon slices and rosemary sprigs. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for an hour or so. Strain and discard solids. Return liquid to pan, and boil until reduced by half, 5-10 minutes. Cool completely. Fill each of 6 glasses with ice cubes and 3/4 cup sparkling water. Stir 1/4 cup syrup into each.

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My mom just gave me a bag of meyer lemons and I using them for as many dishes as I can before they shrivel up. I appreciate them more now after reading this post. I've been juicing them and freezing the juice for other recipes but preserving them is even better. I'm wondering in the preserved lemons if they will have enough juice to fill the jar after a few days? There is so little juice in the jar now.
Nancy on December 17, 2010 at 9:41 am —
Nancy, lucky you to have so many! You need to press down gently but firmly on the lemons once they're in the jar to help them give up their juice. If it's still not enough liquid to cover them, then add the juice from another lemon or two, or add some water, or a combination. As I write this, I am taking a quick break from whisking up a batch of the lowfat Meyer lemon curd which we'll have for dessert tonight with fresh raspberries!
laura on December 17, 2010 at 10:07 am —