After a lot of work over the last year and half, we finally have the Meyer Lemon tree functioning “normally” again! After giving us lemons in March/April 2012, well after the citrus season (November through January) careful cultivation by K has successfully produced a new batch! Now the problem is trying to find time enough to preserve these lemons! Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll be making curd any time soon.
K decided an easy way to use up a few lemons was to make some homemade limoncello. Limoncello is an Italian lemon-flavored liqueur. People say it’s sweet but the one time I tried it I thought it was disgustingly dry. You’re supposed to use the zest of lemons and not the entire lemon, but because they are Meyer’s they are sweeter than regular lemons anyway, and the peel isn’t as thick, so there’s not as much pity. K just cut them into fourths and covered them with Devil’s Spring grain alcohol. Later on sugar will be added, but for now they’ll be steeping for a long time.
We’ve had an issue (again) with mites on the tree, so K got the bright idea to put it out on the deck for awhile in the cold weather to kill the mites off. These trees are great but boy are they susceptible to pests. Unfortunately, the cold weather didn’t kill them, but it made the tree shed its leaves. Oh boy. We were forced to resort back to the insecticide mixture of dish soap to get rid of them.
So now, given the limited time we have, we are trying to come up with new, easy recipes. Luckily, I just came across this article from the LA Times with 100 things to do with Meyer Lemons:
1. Make Meyer lemonade.
2. Make roasted Cornish game hens with Meyer lemons, olives and fennel (see recipe).
3. Make shrimp piri piri with black rice and chef Marcus Samuelsson’s “quick-preserved” Meyer lemons (see recipe).
4. Make Meyer lemon-cardamom ice cream (see recipe).
5. Assemble sandwiches of thinly sliced lemons, smoked salmon and sour cream on pumpernickel bread.
6. Candy the peel, dusting with superfine sugar.
7. To a risotto made with mascarpone and Parmesan, add some grated Meyer lemon peel.
8. Take a cue from Quinn Hatfield of Hatfield’s in Los Angeles and pour yourself a lemon gimlet (Meyer lemon juice and zest, soda water and Meyer lemon simple syrup).
9. Rub a Meyer lemon peel around the rim of a demitasse of espresso.
10. Adapt Claudia Roden’s recipe for orange-almond cake (in “The New Book of Middle Eastern Food,” the cover of which features a bowl of Meyer lemons) by using two large Meyer lemons instead of oranges (see the recipe at latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish).
11. If you don’t mind delayed gratification, make classic preserved lemons (different from chef Samuelsson’s because the lemons are preserved slowly over weeks instead of quickly blanched and cooked) by filling a Mason jar with quartered Meyer lemons, one-fourth cup of kosher salt and enough lemon juice to cover, and letting them sit in your refrigerator for three weeks. Or, for extra flavor, throw some spices into the jar too: a bay leaf, a cinnamon stick, some black peppercorns, a dried Thai chile, a cardamom pod.
12. Grate Meyer lemon peel into a bowlful of Chantilly cream.
13. Arrange thin slices of Meyer lemons on a pizza crust topped with goat cheese, rosemary and Picholine olives.
And so forth…