More Meyer Lemons

In Making Food on March 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Week 3, part 2
Meyer Lemons

After the mixed-reviews pizza, it was on to dessert: a simple sorbet. But because I hate wasting and love complicating things, I decided to do candied lemon peels at the same time.

Here’s how to multitask:

Using a vegetable peeler or a five-hole citrus zester, remove the peel from six Meyer lemons. Try to take only the bright yellow skin, leaving the bitter white pith behind. If you can’t get the peel off cleanly, you can scrape the pith away with a spoon or paring knife.

Cut the naked lemons in half, juice them, and strain out the seeds. Measure the juice (my six lemons yielded exactly, fortuitously, one cup) and set it aside.

Put the peels in a small pot and cover them with two cups of cold water; boil and drain; then repeat once more. This process’ll both tenderize and remove any lingering bitterness (in the peels, that is). Drain the peels and set aside, but return the pan to the stove.

Remember how much lemon juice you had? Measure out the same amount of water and granulated sugar, combine them in the pan, and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. When the sugar has dissolved, you’ve got simple syrup! You’re also ready to add the lemon peels. Simmer gently until they’re translucent and tender; it took me about a half-hour. Drain the peels over a bowl, reserving the now-yellow, lemon-scented simple syrup.

To the peels, add a couple teaspoons of sugar and toss to coat.

To the simple syrup, add the lemon juice you’ve been saving, let the mixture cool, then spin it in an ice cream maker. (I got this one on Craigslist for $20 bucks, including an extra bowl. And then I bought another one on eBay for $15 bucks, including shipping. I like ice cream.)

You can absolutely skip the candied lemon peel step; frankly, I would and will from now on (unless some lemon-loving reader can convince me otherwise). I love candied ginger, but the lemon peel was too thin to be nice and toothsome; it just wound up sticking in my teeth. I minced some and tossed it onto vanilla ice cream, and it was just okay; too distractingly tooth-sticky to be truly enjoyable.

The sorbet, on the other hand, was awesome. Smooth and lush, and just the right balance of tart and sweet. It held its texture perfectly in the freezer for seven days — unusual for homemade frozen desserts, which usually taste/feel best the day they’re made. (And frankly, the only reason it lasted a whole week around this joint is that a little bit of this sorbet, like the lemon pizza before it, goes a long way.)

I’d make it again. I’d make the hell out of this again. Next time, especially since I don’t intend on repeating the candied lemon peel step, I’d play around with the simple syrup to boost the flavor profile. Maybe add in some lavender, or rosemary, or ginger or basil. I foresee a sorbetful summer on the horizon.

  1. Hmmm, how about an ice cold premium vodka shot with a tablespoon size scoop of meyer lemon lavender sorbet floating on top? Would be a cool signature shot for a soire!

  2. That sounds awesome. Though I have to admit, I’d probably be more inclined to upsize it into a vodka sorbet float.

  3. Awesome! My first choice would be to make the sorbet just as you did, but I can attest to the value of the vodka suggestions. We floated lemon frozen yogurt on ginger cognac last weekend, to great results. Mmm!

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