I'm surely the luckies gal in SE Portland.
I scored about 10 pounds of Meyer lemons. They were happily growing on their tree in Northern California just two days ago.
Meyer lemons are believed to be a cross between an orange and a lemon, and originated in China. The name comes from the importer, F.N. Meyer, who brought the fruit over in 1908. (Thank you "Food Lover's Companion.")
The flavor is magnificent. Lighter and fruitier than regular lemons, with an almost-perfume-like smell. Delightful.
What does one do with so many lemons? Make lemonade?!?! Or....Middle Eastern style preserved lemons.
I use a recipe out of the cookbook, Moorish by Greg and Lucy Malouf.
3 pounds lemons with thin skins
1/2 cup sea salt
1 Tbsp coriander seed, crushed
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
4 bay leaves, crushed
2 Tbsp honey (I used agave nectar and sugar as my sweetie is allergic to honey)
8 oz lemon juice
24 oz warm water
(two one-quart canning jars, two lids and two canning rings--sterilized)
Place in a bag and freeze for 24 hours.
Defrost the lemons. Stuff the center of each with about one teaspoon of salt. Press into two sterile two-quart jars, layering lemons with the crushed spices.
Add the honey or agave nectar to the lemon juice. Add the water, and stir until dissolved.
Pour the sugar/lemon water into the jars.**
Put a small towel or washcloth in the bottom of a large pot and add the jars. Fill with hot tap water to the jar's half-way mark.
Slowly bring to a boil and simmer for 6 minutes.
Hold -- in a cool, dark place -- for one month before using.
One of the things I've made is preserved lemon risotto. Play with the flavor. It's a fantastic addition to chicken and/or lamb dishes. I'm going to make some tagine dishes this winter and preserved lemons will be a big part of the flavor.
The rest of the lemons will probably be turned into Lemoncello.
And huge thanks to my BF CeeLee for bringing me such bounty. I ♥ you.
* This recipe also works with limes.
** The leftover lemonade is delicious with vodka.