Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Meyer Lemon Tree

This post may seem to be jumping the seasons a bit since Meyer lemons are considered to be a winter crop. But my Meyer Lemon tree is incredibly happy right now. It could be because of all the amendments that I dug into the soil this spring when I attempted to grow some strawberries in the same bed. Or perhaps it is because I repaired the drip system in that area and it's actually getting enough water for the first time in I don't know how long. It certainly can't be because of the unusually cool summer we've had. Although, this tree seems to be quite tolerant of cool and shade, it's growing on the north side of the house where it gets sun for maybe half the day.

Blossoms galore,
they perfume the air when the day warms up.

Have you ever eaten a lemon blossom? The petals are delicious, perfumy and sweet.

The bees have been collecting every bit of pollen and nectar.

There are lemons in every stage of development on the tree right now.

Small and green, these should ripen this winter.

Sized up and starting to ripen.

Fully ripe and ready to harvest.

Old and thick skinned but still sound and juicy.

Barring an unusual freeze this winter it looks like I'm going to have bumper crop of lemons so I'm tempting fate and gathering together some of my favorite recipes that use Meyers. Here's some of the posts that I've published in the past:

Lemon Curd and Candied Peels
Meyer Lemon Marmalade (Spicy or not)
Smoked Trout and Meyer Lemon Pizza

And some other easy uses for Meyers:

*Salami, Arugula and Meyer Lemon sandwiches, yes, just put thin slices of lemon right in the sandwich.

*Fried lemon slices, good with any kind of lemon but Meyers are the best. Thinly slice the whole lemons, pick out any seeds, dredge the slices in flour and deep fry until golden and crisp. Fabulous paired with deep fried fresh anchovies and/or thin sliced zucchini, or even potatoes. Or just serve with some grilled fish.

*Lemon-honey-mustard salad dressing - juice of half a Meyer lemon (or any kind of lemon), about a teaspoon each of honey and mustard, salt and pepper and perhaps a bit of truffle oil, whisk in as much extra virgin olive as you like.

*Preserved lemons, there are recipes available in lots of books and online like this one.

Some favorite recipes from my cookbook collection:

Meyer Lemon Tart with a Layer of Chocolate from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin
Green Olive-Lemon Relish from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers
Meyer Lemon Semifreddo (more like a trifle) from Room For Dessert by David Lebovitz

And here's a few recipes from the SF Chronicle that I have in mind to try:

Portuguese Minted Chicken Soup With Meyer Lemon
Miso Meyer Lemon Chicken Thighs
Risotto With Meyer Lemon
Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta
Meyer Lemon Salsa
Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Puffed Pancake With Macerated Strawberries

What are your favorite ways to use Meyer lemons?


And to replace the strawberry plants that the rats liked to munch on are some seed propagated Paragon rhubarb plants. The rats don't seem to like to munch on rhubarb, but to my surprise the deer do, and no surprise, the gophers. Neither the deer nor the gophers are likely to get to these plants so perhaps next spring I'll finally be able to harvest some home grown rhubarb.


  1. Sometimes we use our Meyer lemons to make margaritas. Add some strawberries and they're really good. I've also made some lemon/strawberry sorbet.

  2. I have wanted to try to make limoncello. Here is a good recipe for it http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2009/06/how-to-make-limoncello.html

  3. Jackie, I read somewhere about using Meyers for margaritas, I think I'll have to try it. Strawberry and lemons are great together also, whether in a margarita, sorbet, or ice cream (yum).


    Becca, I love limoncello. Last year a group of us got together and made 5 or 6 batches of it, one batch from Meyers. I have to say that I liked the Meyer limoncello the least, one of the few times that I've found "regular" lemons to be superior to Meyers.

  4. Michelle,
    Oh my you'll have a great crop of lemons there. I have only eaten one Meyer Lemon in my lifetime and boy was it good!

  5. That tree is just beautiful and the ripe lemons look like lemon drops - so perfect and visually appealing! I don't have a scratch and sniff monitor - but I bet those flowers are just heavenly smelling too. Don't have a Meyer lemon tree but one of my favorite lemon treats is a well made lemon curd. Yum!

  6. Oh my, I am so jealous. Our Meyer lemon plant doesn't look as amazing as yours! Your's is fantastic. Do you have it in the ground or in a container?

  7. My Meyer lemon tree is also doing great right now. Maybe we'll need to declare that they like cool summers after all. At least they don't seem to mind.

    Right now my favorite thing to do with the lemons seems to be to compost the excess fruit they are producing. Otherwise, Meyer lemon tart: a very short pate brise filled with baked lemon custard.

  8. Here is too cold to grow a lemon tree outdoors. And I don't like the idea of growing it in a pot. So I'm considering of growing it in a greenhouse, I think that it could survive the winter.
    You tree looks beautiful, how old is it?

  9. Michelle, you're getting me excited for this december!!!! Barring a major catastrophe, I should be getting another meyer lemon harvest this year from my little potted tree.

    Oh how I envy your large tree though!

  10. Randy, Meyers are good and so taken for granted around here, it seems that there's at least one tree in every backyard.


    kitsapFG, the blossoms are heavenly smelling, I keep finding myself stopping dead in my tracks when I pass the tree so that I can just stand there and drink in the perfume. I love lemon curd also and Meyers make a particularly good curd.


    meemsync, the tree is in a raised bed enjoying soil that is far superior to the native grit. There's actually a second tree in the garden in the ground and it is not at all as happy as this tree.


    Angela, It is amazing how the tree is thriving in the cool weather and yours as well, hmmm, they don't seem to be the heat lovers that we think they should be. I'm composting a lot of half lemons, use half and toss the other half in the bin... Have you ever tried Meyer lemon tart with lavender, a friend of mine makes it that way and it is quite good.


    vrtlarica, a lemon tree should do fine in a greenhouse so long as the temperatures stay above freezing. We get occasional frosts that don't do too much damage to the lemons, but a freeze will ruin the fruit and damage the tree.


    Thomas, I remember the beautiful lemons that you harvested last year. I'm guessing that your harvest will be bigger this year and you'll get to experiment with some more recipes.

    I always think of you when I've got more lemons than I can handle, I take them so much for granted and they are so precious to you.

  11. If it were me it would be lemon sorbet. But if it were my son he would go with lemon poppy seed muffins. I do envy your lemons.

  12. Very cool! I would love to grow my own lemons, but I am fairly sure our harsh winters would destroy it. There would also be no chance to bring it inside during the winter, because our cats love to graze on anything with foliage!

    I am relatively uneducated when it comes to lemon varieties. What is the difference between Meyer lemons and the 'normal' ones bought at the grocery store?

  13. Daphne, I'm more of a scone eater than a muffin eater, lemon poppy seed scones sound like a great idea, with poppy seeds from the garden too!


    Prairie Cat, Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons, both the juice and the peel.

  14. That is one happy tree! My potted one barely hangs on to life. I should move to CA :-)

  15. That really is an amazing looking little lemon tree you have there...just look at all those lovely lemons.

  16. Oh my what a lovely tree and those lemons on it. It's too bad we cannot plant citrus in ground, I'm happy with a small harvest from our potted trees.

    I would love to try fried lemon slices with anchovies. I usually preserve the excess lemons in salt and make duck or chicken soup with them, or I use the salted lemons for ice cold drinks in summer, or in hot drinks for coughs and colds.

  17. Wow, look at your seed-grown rhubarb! Beautiful.

    I'm with you on Meyer limoncello--not nearly as good as limoncello made with Eurekas or Lisbons. It doesn't have enough zip to go with the sweet. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of making a ton of Meyer limoncello this past winter, and now I'm stuck with it. Oh well.

  18. I know they really love water, so that may be it.

    Favorite recipe? I bet it's sorbet made with Meyer Lemon. Yum.

  19. What do you use your preserved lemons for? I made a couple quart jars last year while I was in Sonoma at my Mom's. Not sure what to use them for. I tried a tate of one, but it was really salty, even though I rinsed it very well. I really want to start using them! Soon I'll get more meyer lemons. Made meyer lemon marmalade. Love it on yogurt.

  20. Elizabeth, sorry about my slow responses to your comments, it's not been easy to get connected to the internet lately. The preserved lemons are salty so I use them in small amounts as seasoning in dishes where I want that uniqe flavor. I usually chop them up rather than use them in large pieces. Sorry got to go now....


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