This time of year we don’t have a lot to choose from in the way of stellar ingredients, especially if we restrict ourselves to local farmers' markets. But there are a few notable things peaking now that come to us from a ways away.
Among them . . . the Meyer Lemon. A mysterious citrus that seemed to spring up out of no where about ten years ago. It was introduced to the western world shortly after WWII, but no one seemed to appreciate it for 45 years.
But the fact of the matter is this breed of citron, a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon, was holed up within the walls of a Chinese emperor’s palace for decades. Enjoyed only by him and his constituents.
Fortunately for us, the cat is out of the bag.
I love the Meyer Lemon. It’s somehow mild and less harsh than a conventional lemon, with more sweetness. It makes for great dressings, and produces an incredible custard
Every couple of years I preserve a few . . . for safe keeping.
They later find their way into a wide array of dishes through out the year.
By the way, normal lemons will work fine for this recipe.
Preserved Meyer Lemons
10-12 Meyer Lemons
8 Lemons, Juiced
A fresh bay leaf for every lemon
1. Cutting close to the base, but not severing it; score each lemon through the middle.
2. Salt liberally inside and out, insert a bay leaf in the incision of each lemon.
3. Applying decent pressure, pack the lemons into a sealable glass container.
4. Cover them completely with the lemon juice and stow away in the fridge. They won’t be ready for at least a month.
*** Sometimes a white film will form on the surface of the liquid, just skim it off, it's completely normal.