How to Pick, Prep, and Cook with Meyer Lemons

Its rounded shape and heady perfume distinguish the Meyer lemon from your typical supermarket variety. A hybrid of an orange and a conventional lemon, the Meyer lemon is prized among cooks for its low acidity and sweet-tart flavor. Here's how to use it while it's in season (right now!).
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Its rounded shape and heady perfume distinguish the Meyer lemon from your typical supermarket variety. A hybrid of an orange and a conventional lemon, the Meyer lemon is prized among cooks for its low acidity and sweet-tart flavor. Here's how to use it while it's in season (right now!).
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Its rounded shape and heady perfume distinguish the Meyer lemon from your typical supermarket variety. A hybrid of an orange and a conventional lemon, the Meyer lemon is prized among cooks for its low acidity and sweet-tart flavor. Feel free to use it in any recipe calling for a lemon, even lemonade.

Pick
Look for smooth, pliable skin with no discolored spots. Ripe fruits are rich yellow in color, with no hint of green. Because Meyer lemons are thin-skinned and more fragile than conventional types, their season and shelf life are relatively short; store in the fridge and use within two weeks. "They tend to lose some of their punch, mellowing with age," explains Mary Helen Seeger of Four Winds Growers in California.

Prep
Use both the zest and flesh; separate the zest from the pith with a zester tool or a Microplane. Extract the juice by first halving the fruit with a knife, then squeezing or using a citrus reamer. To add whole slices of Meyer lemon to dishes, first cut the fruit’s sections away from their membranes with a paring knife.

Try This
• Combine Meyer lemon juice with a splash of soy sauce, ginger juice, and a few drops of toasted sesame oil to marinate tofu or tempeh before broiling or searing.

• Add the zest of a Meyer lemon to pancake batter; combine the juice with maple syrup, and serve alongside.

• Add Meyer lemon juice and a bit of zest to mashed sweet potatoes.

• Preserve quartered Meyer lemons in jars with their own juice and salt for use in Middle Eastern or Indian stews and soups.

What's your favorite way to use Meyer lemons? Share in the comments!