Jan 11, 2013 03:24AM
● By Style
WHAT’S IN SEASON NOW: MEYER LEMONS!
If you like the tang of lemons but not the pucker, then Meyer lemons are for you. With sweeter juice, a thinner peel, less acid and a more floral scent (and taste) than other lemon varieties, Meyers are great to use when cooking. Thankfully, we’re at the peak of Meyer lemon season in Placer County.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Meyer lemon is believed to be a hybrid between a conventional lemon and either a mandarin or an orange. Like many citrus fruits, the Meyer lemon originated in China. In 1908, agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered the fruit on one of his exploratory trips to China. The Meyer lemon has since made its way to farms in California, including Placer County.
Meyer lemons can be purchased at Placer County farmers’ markets held year-round, including the Saturday market in Auburn, and on Tuesdays at the Fountains at Roseville. They are also sold at many local farms in Granite Bay, Loomis, Newcastle, Lincoln, Penryn and Auburn.
SELECTION AND STORAGE:
Choose heavier Meyer lemons as opposed to lighter ones, as it’s an indication of higher juice content. Store the fruit in a plastic storage bag to prevent them from losing moisture. Place the lemons in a crisper to store them for up to four weeks; the cold from the refrigerator slows the enzyme reactions that cause ripening.
Meyer Lemon Shaum Torte
Recipe courtesy of The Art of Real Food by Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny
- 4 large farm-fresh eggs, separated
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
- 1 cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F
Make a meringue by beating egg whites until bubbly; add cream of tartar. Continue to beat until slightly firm. Gradually add 1 cup sugar. Beat until stiff and glossy. Spread meringue in a well buttered nine-inch glass pie pan. Bake 20 minutes. Increase temperature to 300 degrees F and bake 40 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make filling, beat egg yolks until lemon colored. Add remaining ½ cup sugar, lemon juice and zest. Cook in a double boiler until thick, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
Whip cream until firm. Fold egg yolk mixture gently into cream. Spread over cooled meringue. Best refrigerated 24 hours before serving. Top each piece of torte with a heaping teaspoon of raspberry or blackberry sauce or candied lemon rind. Serves 8.