Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Ingredient

Lemons

lemons

Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

What is it?

A bright yellow citrus fruit, tart lemons brighten both sweet treats and savory dishes. More than 90% of the time they are one of two varieties, Lisbon and Eureka, which are the most common varieties grown in California and Arizona. The two are virtually indistinguishable to most shoppers and have a common flavor profile: the tart, acidic flavor we associate with lemons. A third supermarket variety, Bearss, is grown in Florida and is also quite similar in flavor.

Kitchen math:

1 medium lemon= 4 to 5 Tbs. juice and about 2 Tbs. lightly packed zest if grated with a rasp-style .

Don’t have it?

White wine can sub for lemon when a splash is called for to brighten a sauce or deglaze a pan. In baking, you can try subbing other citrus, though the flavor will be different.

How to choose:

As with all citrus, the winter months are the height of the lemon season, and this is a good time to take advantage of plentiful fruits at good prices. The juiciest lemons tend to be those with thin skins. If the lemon skin is smooth rather than textured, that’s a tip-off that the skin is thin. And small to medium-size lemons are generally thinner skinned than large ones.

How to prep:

For zest: Thick-skinned lemons, which tend to have pebbly-textured skin, are easiest to zest. Before zesting, scrub the lemon’s skin well to remove any residue (a soak in warm water can help remove any wax coating). Remove just the thin yellow layer of rind, not the white pith below. Use a vegetable peeler to get wide strips of zest and a rasp-style grater for finely grated zest.

For juice: Juicers or reamers will extract the maximum amount of juice. Another tip for getting more juice: first roll the lemon on the counter and then microwave for 30 seconds.

How to store:

Store in the refigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipes

  • Recipe

    Apple-and-Raisin-Stuffed Pogaca Rolls

    While savory rolls are delicious with dinner, sweet ones make a lovely dessert or breakfast treat. This one will remind you of apple pie. Note that there are two sets of…

  • Recipe

    Streusel Coffee Cake

    If you’re a fan of New York-style crumb cake, you’re going to love this version, which is more streusel (shown here with Cocoa Cardamom Streusel) than cake. Too much of…

  • Recipe

    Cranberry Streusel Muffins

    Sweet, crumbly streusel balances bursts of tartness from the cranberries in these tender sour-cream muffins. They're shown here with Marcona Almond Streusel, but you can use Cocoa Cardamom Streusel or…

  • Recipe

    Pork Chops Milanese

    You can’t have too much of the sweet-sour dressing to sop up the crispy bites of pork chop—it’s a perfect marriage.

  • Recipe

    Fennel Confit with Grilled Lamb

    Like caramelized onions, slowly cooked fennel becomes deep, rich, and sweet tasting. Paired with a lemony, gremolata-like herb garnish, it’s a great accompaniment to lamb chops coated in crushed fennel…

  • Recipe

    Heirloom Bean Potato Cassoulet

    With deeply developed flavors and aromas that satisfy and entice, this cassoulet has everything you would expect from this homey French classic, except all the meat.

  • Recipe

    Potato and Leek Galette with Rosemary and Sea-Salt Crust

    Potatoes and leeks baked in a buttery crust are punctuated with the snap of aged provolone and the flavor of rosemary.

  • Recipe

    Sweet and Spicy Tuna Tartines

    This elevated open-face tuna sandwich packs a ton of disparate flavors that come together for an incredible bite.

  • Recipe

    Turkey and Spinach Hand Pies

    These turnover-like pastries make a nice lunch paired with a green salad. Or enjoy them for a casual weeknight dinner.

  • Recipe

    Turkey, Escarole, and White Bean Soup with Cheesy Croutons

    A cross between white bean soup and French onion soup, a bowl makes a hearty meal.

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

  • User avater
    sbreckenridge | 12/16/2011

    @ddavis: you can freeze lemon zest too--just seal it well in a heavy duty ziplock bag.

  • ddavis3 | 11/28/2011

    I have a bunch of lemons that I don't want to waste - I know I can freeze the juice, is there a way to preserve the zest for later use?

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Videos

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Durham, North Carolina (412)

From rooftop to rain in North Carolina, Moveable Feast host Pete Evans is joined by the Lantern restaurant co-founders and siblings Andrea & Brendan Reusing to create an amazing local…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks