What is it?
Meyer lemons are not true lemons, but believed to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or orange. Compared to regular lemons, Meyer lemons are thinner- and smoother-skinned, rounder in shape, and have a deeper yellow-orange hue. Less acidic than regular lemons their zest and juice has herbal, even floral undertones that can add a wonderful nuance to any recipe calling for lemons.
1 medium lemon = about 3 Tbs. juice
Don’t have it?
Regular lemons; but you may want to add sugar to balance the sharper flavor.
How to choose:
Ripe Meyer lemons have taut, thin skins with an orangy hue. Their thin skins make it difficult to transport them long distances, so they’re a specialty product outside of California, where most of the U.S. crop is grown. Choose lemons that are unblemished, shiny, and heavy for their size. A pale yellow color means that they won’t be quite as sweet. The lemons should be firm but give under slight pressure and should feel a little bit heavy for their size. They will smell sweet and floral, like orange blossoms.
How to prep:
You can substitute Meyer lemons for standard lemons in any recipe; just expect a sweeter flavor with slightly floral undertones. Cut into wedges or sliced, they’re great for tossing into stews and tagines, or roasting along with chicken or vegetables; their thin rind softens enough that you can eat pieces whole. Their zest makes a great addition to pasta or risotto, and their juice can be used in recipes for lemonade, sorbets or granitas, vinaigrettes, cocktails, and lemon cakes, bars, or pies. Fresh and bright, Meyer lemons pair well with berries of any sort; root vegetables like carrots and parsnips; herbs such as lavender, thyme, and rosemary; nuts, including hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts; and rich dairy like butter, cream, ricotta, and mascarpone.
How to store:
Meyer lemons will keep for a few days at room temperature and up to a month in the refrigerator. Their juice can be frozen for up to six months.
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