Archive for: meyer lemon
My lemon trees are nearly falling over with fruit right now, since we are in the peak of citrus season. Fresh citrus always gives me lots of inspiration in the kitchen, because a little bit of juice or zest can really perk up a dish. This Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake is just one of my most recent ways to put some of those lemons to good use. The lemony cake packs a double dose of lemon for citrus-lovers. It has both fresh lemon juice and lemon zest in the cake batter, and more lemon juice and zest in the streusel topping.
The cake is has a lovely lemon flavor to it, with a hint of butter from the buttermilk that is also in the cake batter. It isn’t as strong a lemon flavor as you might get from a batch of lemon curd, but it is more than enough to make the cake taste like springtime. The hint of lemon in the crispy streusel topping is a nice finishing touch to the cake – and a very nice change of pace from more common cinnamon streusel-topped cakes.
I used meyer lemons in this cake, which are less acidic than your average lemons are. This means that they are less sour, but still have a strong lemon flavor. You can substitute regular lemons into this recipe without changing anything – you will still get a bright lemon flavor and the cake will still be sweet enough. I highly recommend sticking with fresh lemon juice and zest, rather than bottled juice, for the best flavor, though. Also, to get the most out of your lemons, be sure to zest them before juicing them, as it is a little more difficult to get a microplane across the skin of a lemon that has already been juiced!
Candied citrus peels have a lot of flavor in a little, sugary package and they’re a lovely treat to make after you’ve just juiced a lot of citrus fruit because they make good use of all those orange and lemon rinds. You can candy any kind of citrus fruit, but one of my favorites is lemon because it has a bright flavor and goes well with all kinds of recipes.
I use a paring knife to cut the skin off of the lemon, getting only a small amount of the pith (the white part beneath the skin) and try to keep the peels at a uniform thickness, even if they are unevenly shaped. I then cut each large strip into several smaller strips before candying. Candied orange peels are typically cut into uniform strips and are often served as a candy in their own right. I rarely see this with candied lemon peel. And while I like to snack on them when I make them, I don’t typically serve them on their own, either. As a result, I am a lot more casual about slicing my peels before candying. There is a lot of variation in the size and shape of my candied lemon peels, though I try to keep the thickness uniform, and they turn out just fine.
Once your peels are cut, the next step in candying lemon peels is to blanch the rind to remove any bitterness. Some recipes advise you to do this up to three times, changing the water and blanching again. I tend to only do this step once. I use organic lemons and meyer lemons and don’t find them to be too bitter, even with a small amount of pith still on the rind. So, I feel that this is a matter of personal preference and you can blanch your rinds up to two more times if you prefer when you try this recipe at home.
The peels are then cooked in a sugar syrup until they are tender and well-infused with sugar. The peels are dried, then rolled in more sugar to give them a crisp finish. The peels store very well and, once they are completely dry, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to several weeks. They can also be incorporated into other recipes or used as a garnish for desserts.
And don’t forget to save the leftover sugar syrup when making this recipe. It is very sweet and has a terrific lemon flavor, so it can be used to sweeten drinks or make a big batch of lemonade!
Meyer lemons are a hybrid citrus fruit that are a cross between mandarin oranges and lemons. Meyer lemons have a bright lemon flavor, but are much less acidic than a regular lemon. This makes them seem a little sweeter, and their slightly milder flavor allows honey and floral notes to really come through in the juice. Meyer lemons can be used in recipes that call for regular lemons, and I put some to work in a batch of homemade Meyer Lemon Curd recently.
This curd is made just like your average lemon curd recipe – with eggs, lemon juice, sugar and butter – so it has a smooth, silky texture and a lot of flavor. Thanks to the Meyer lemons, it has a slightly sweeter and more complex flavor than some other lemon curds, although it still has plenty of zesty lemon flavor. It is delicious on its own, and makes a great accompaniment for vanilla scones or ice cream.
The butter stirred into this lemon curd and other fruit curds to finish them after cooking serves to make them even smoother and creamier than before. The butter also helps to thicken the curd up a little bit more. That said, I often make a Low Fat Lemon Curd that uses no butter at all, and you can actually omit the butter in this recipe if you are looking for a slightly lighter lemon indulgence.
Lemon is often paired with gingerbread because the bright, sharp flavor of the citrus is a good contrast for the dark, molassey flavor of gingerbread. Typically the lemon accent takes the form of a glaze or is served on the side as lemon curd. In this Meyer Lemon Gingerbread, I incorporated fresh Meyer lemon juice and plenty of lemon zest right into the gingerbread, making it sweet, spicy, bright and tangy all at the same time!
The gingerbread is moist, with a sturdy but tender crumb. It tastes like a cross between gingerbread and lemon bread, since you get notes from all the spices that contribute to the gingerbread, but it is all tied together with that zesty Meyer lemon flavor. I like using the not-too-tart Meyer lemons in baking because they add a lot of lemon flavor without adding a strong sour note that might overpower the other ingredients. In this recipe, you can definitely substitute regular lemon juice if you don’t have Meyer lemons. I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice – regardless of which type of lemon you choose – in this recipe to ensure that you get the brightest flavor and the best results.
This bread comes together very easily and can be sliced and served without any special glazes or garnishes. It is a good choices for a holiday dessert or a holiday gift because, like many other types of gingerbread, the flavor of this loaf improves over the course of a couple of days so it can be savored at home or shipped off to friends.
Whenever I have a lot of lemons in my kitchen, I usually make a fresh batch of lemon curd. I am a big fan of the creamy, tangy curd and will put it on fresh fruit, scones, slices of cake and just about anything else I can think of. Another great use for it is putting it into a batch of ice cream. With the zesty lemon curd as a base, you get a very bright and fresh tasting ice cream with loads of lemon flavor and very little effort.
I use my favorite Low Fat Lemon Curd as a base for this recipe. The curd is low in fat because, unlike other lemon curds, it doesn’t use any butter but still delivers a smooth and creamy finished product. I also like the fact that the curd is quite tart, which makes it work very well in this Lemon Curd Ice Cream. The basic method is to make your lemon curd and chill it, then mix it with half and half and a small amount of additional confectioners’ sugar (when served cold, ice cream will taste less sweet than the base alone, so it’s always a good idea to have a little extra sugar). Chill it in an ice cream maker and you’re ready to eat!
The finished product is very light and creamy, with a great lemon flavor and a tangy finish. It actually reminds me a lot of lemon sherbert – only better than just about every kind I can remember tasting. You do need an ice cream maker to get the best result. You can make a slightly more granita-like version by pouring your base into a shallow container and putting it in the freezer, then stirring it every 30 minutes with a mixer or a fork until well-frozen. Serve this on its own, with fresh fruit, whipped cream or put a small scoop into a flute and top with champagne for a zesty spring cocktail!