Meyer Lemons: Mass-Market but Mind-Blowing



To try Sally's recipe for lemon curd, click here.

The produce section of my local supermarket is so lackluster that it generally discourages me from buying of any fresh vegetable except onions or bananas. Wandering through on my way to buy ice cream this Monday, I spotted a trove of Meyer lemons—six for two dollars—and knew that these fabulous citrus had finally made their way from "gourmet" to mass-market. Although Meyer lemon season usually starts winding down in March, the lemons were in good shape. When I scratched the skin of one, its unique perfume was released: like lemon and tangerine with floral undertones.

I squeezed two of the lemons right off the bat, making what is akin to a sour, aromatic orange juice. Diluted with a little water, and sweetened with sugar, it is an amazing drink—not my idea but one I learned on a visit to Martha Stewart's compound in Connecticut years ago. (THAT is another story.) Martha had her housekeeper squeeze tons of Meyer lemons when they were in season and kept the juice frozen—one of her many good ideas, if you happen to have freezer space. Lack of it, however, encourages you to enjoy Meyer Lemons in their season, in the moment. Now!

Meyer lemons will actually last several weeks in the fridge. I use the zest, removed with a vegetable peeler and cut into fine slivers, in everything, to brighten up chicken salad or slaws or stews. The juice and grated zest add an incredible perfume to plain cakes and butter cookies and makes a spectacular lemon curd to fill a baked tart shell or to sandwich between cake layers with some crème fraiche.

Layered into a tall glass with vanilla ice cream, the curd becomes a mind-blowing adult Creamsicle ...