Whenever I spy Meyer lemons in the market I can’t resist grabbing a handful and bringing them up to my nose for a whiff of their bright, heady aroma. It transports me back to a trip I took to a small town in Connecticut several years ago.
It was late winter and I arrived in a snowstorm that took even the hardy Yankee locals by surprise. The next morning, I awoke in my snug little B&B to a world cloaked in a flawless blanket of snow sparkling under a clear blue sky. That postcard-perfect setting was a enough of a treat, but it got even better when I sat down to breakfast at a table beside potted Meyer lemon tree. Perfectly framed by the snow-covered scene outside, the tree was heavy with fruit and offered a fragrant, sunny harbinger of warmer days to come.
Ever since, I’ve been delighted to see availability of this fruit expand from gourmet stores to farmers’ markets and even supermarkets. Once coveted by chefs, they’re steadily becoming a staple for home cooks.
What makes them so special? First, they’re not entirely a lemon, but a cross between a lemon and an orange so they have smooth, thin skin that ranges from lemony yellow to nearly orange and a flavor that’s sweeter and less acidic than a standard lemon. They’re prized for their citrusy perfume and abundant juiciness. They tend to be smaller and rounder than regular lemons, so there’s a wonderful tactile pleasure to holding one in the palm of your hand.
You can use Meyers in any recipe calling for lemons. (Depending on the recipe, some cooks like to balance their sweetness with a squeeze of regular lemon–use your taste as a guide.) Try them in Kitchen MacGyver Lemon Curd (my, that would be lovely!), Go-To Vinaigrette or Roasted Cauliflower with Meyer Lemon Fauxaioli. Or simply use them as an excuse to make these scones.