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Season's Eatings

01/15/2014 03:51AM ● Published by Style

With sweeter juice, a thinner peel, less acid and a more floral scent than other lemon varieties, Meyer lemons are ideal for cooking.

DID YOU KNOW?

It’s believed the Meyer lemon is a cross between a conventional lemon and either a mandarin or an orange. Like so many citrus fruits, the Meyer lemon originated in China. In 1908, it was discovered by agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on one of his exploratory trips to China. The Meyer lemon has since made its way to farms in California, including Placer County.

Locally, Meyer lemons can be purchased at farmers’ markets held year-round in Auburn on Saturdays, and in Roseville at The Fountains on Tuesdays. They are also sold at many area farms, including ones 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 them in a plastic storage bag (to prevent them from losing moisture) in a crisper for up to four weeks; the cold from the refrigerator slows the enzyme reactions that cause ripening.


For details on where to buy this sweet citrus fruit and other Placer County farm-fresh produce, wine, meat and local products, visit placergrown.org.

 

MEYER LEMON-BUTTERMILK TART

Recipe by PlacerGROWN Chef Courtney McDonald

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 prebaked tart crust (you could use a store-bought graham cracker pie crust)
  • 1/4 cup sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cream, buttermilk and melted butter. Slowly whisk in the lemon juice, zest and flour, until all lumps of flour have disappeared. Carefully pour buttermilk mixture into the prebaked tart shell. Place onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until tart is just set (when gently tapped the center should no longer jiggle), about 35-45 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, and then slice into wedges. To serve, top with whipped cream and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, if desired. Wrap leftover tart in plastic and store in the refrigerator. Serves 2 (with leftovers!).

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