Meyer lemons just started appearing in stores in these parts—like a herald of something brighter, I associate the arrival of these orange-lemon hybrids with the return of longer days and more light, as they seem to show up after the winter solstice. Like the light they betoken, they are sunny, bright and eminently cheerful.
There are so many wonderful ways to use this citrus fruit, but my favorite ways place the juicy, sweet tartness of the Meyer at the forefront.
A Meyer lemon pudding cake pairs the bright acid with a couple of different textures. I think custard cake is a better description, as the bottom of the cake has the consistency and taste of a lemon curd or lemon custard. The top part of the cake bakes up light and fluffy, like a cross between a pavlova and angel food cake. It goes well with a strawberry and Meyer lemon sauce.
I also adore ice cream made with lemons, as it's a lovely way to end a meal on a light, bright note. This year I made Meyer lemon and vanilla olive oil ice cream. It's like a lemon-vanilla creamsicle, and the olive oil adds a buttery, rich note that tastes much more decadent than it is.
I've also made Meyer lemon vinaigrette (amazing), Meyer lemon candied walnuts (perfect as a snack or for giving a little crunch to salads) and I have a little jar of preserved lemons going right now (in the fridge, because I'd rather not go through the canning rigamarole for just one jar) that I'm really excited about. Waiting 30 days is going to be difficult.
And just to counterbalance all of the lemony sunshine, something very dark to enjoy it with—our homemade winter stout, brewed with clove, black pepper, chocolate and orange blossom. This turned out so well I can barely believe it. Before you sip it, you can actually smell a bit of the orange blossom. Then you take a sip and the chocolate, clove and black pepper push against that subtle floral note and wrap it in what tastes like liquid midnight. To get the orange blossom and chocolate note, we added some La Boîte à Epice Apollonia blend at bottling.