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Meyer lemon footnote: Recipes

January 15, 2008 |  4:13 pm

Img_2158 Of my catalogue of "100 Things to Do With Meyer Lemons" in today's Food section, a few items referred to recipes from cookbooks. Here they are, accompanied by a picture of the preserved Meyer lemons (No. 11) that I made for friends for Christmas this year. (Polito Family Farms Meyers, with spices.)

No. 10. Claudia Roden's orange-almond cake, from "The New Book of Middle Eastern Food." Note: the original recipe calls for two large oranges; I substituted Meyer lemons.

2 large Meyer lemons                                                                  

6 eggs

250 g. (8 oz.) ground almonds or almond flour

250 g. (8 oz.) sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

Butter and flour, for cake tin

Wash and boil the lemons (unpeeled) in a little water for nearly 2 hours. Let them cool, then cut them open and remove the pips. Turn the lemons into a pulp by rubbing them through a sieve or by putting them in an electric blender. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients, mix thoroughly and pour into a buttered and floured cake tin, preferably one with a removable bottom. Bake in a moderately hot oven (190C/375F) for about 1 hour. If the cake is still very wet, leave it in the oven for a little longer. Cool in the tin before turning out. (I served this with Chantilly cream flavored with Meyer lemon peel, No. 12.)

No. 25, Suzanne Goin's Meyer lemon salsa, from "Sunday Suppers at Lucques."

2 to 3 large Meyer lemons

2 tablespoons finely diced shallots

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon minced savory (you can substitute fresh marjoram)

1 tablespoon sliced mint

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut both ends off the lemons. Place the lemons cut side down on a cutting board. Following the contour of the fruit with your knife, remove the peel and white cottony pith, working from top to bottom and rotating the fruit as you go. Then, one at a time, hold each lemon in your hand and carefully slice between the membranes and the fruit to release the segments in between.  Discard the seeds and reserve the juice. You should have about 1/4 cup of segments and 1/4 cup of juice. Place the lemon juice in a small bowl and add the shallots and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let sit 5 minutes and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the lemon segments, savory, mint and parsley. Taste for balance and seasoning.

No. 87, Gennaro Esposito's recipe for sweet and sour lemon sauce, from Faith Willinger's book "Adventures of an Italian Food Lover."

For the candied zest:

2 Meyer lemons

1 orange

6 tablespoons coarse sea salt

1/2 cup wildflower honey

1 cup sugar

Peel the zest from two lemons in strips, leaving 1/4-inch pulp attached to the zest. Peel the orange the same way. Put the zests in a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons salt, add 1 cup water, and weight down with a small plate to keep zests submerged for 1 to 2 hours. Rinse and drain. Bring 10 cups of water to a rolling boil, remove from heat and let zests cool completely in the salted water. Drain zests. Combine the honey, sugar and 2 1/4 cups of fresh water in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Add the drained zest and cook over lowest heat, less than a simmer, for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let zest cool in syrup overnight. The next day, bring the syrup back to a simmer, lower the heat, and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Repeat the process one more time, cooking zest on the lowest heat for 30 minutes. Store zest in its syrup in a jar.

For the sauce:

3 1/2 Meyer lemons

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 tablespoon minced celery

Fine sea salt

White pepper

3 tablespoons chopped candied lemon zest

Trim three lemons with a knife, cutting the rind away down to the pulp. Section the lemon into wedges, cutting between the white connective membranes. Squeeze the juice from the remains of the lemons into a measuring cup and add the wedges. You should have about 1/2 cup. Squeeze the juice from the remaining 1/2 lemon and add it to the wedges. In a small saucepan, add the oil and saute the garlic and celery over medium heat until the celery barely begins to color. Add the lemon wedges and juice and cook, mashing the mixture with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is pulpy. Remove the garlic. Season the lemon mixture with salt and white pepper. If the sauce is too tart, add a spoonful or two of syrup from the candied zest. Transfer lemon mixture to a blender and add candied zest. Blend until smooth.

-- Amy Scattergood

Photo by Amy Scattergood

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