Friday, February 3, 2017

Meyer Lemons How to Freeze and Recipes

Time to Refresh with Sweet Meyer Lemons

       At the beginning of every year, I like to start off fresh, and one of my favorite fresh items is the sweet taste and smell of Meyer Lemons. Just the smell of the lemon scent opens up the senses and make me feel rejuvenated. It seems that in January my tree is over loaded with them and I harvest bags full for friends, family, and prepare them for future use throughout the year.

       I like using my lemons in so many ways. The Meyer variety is one of the top choices in cooking. I use them throughout the year in some of my favorite recipes as Lemon Loaf and Lemon Meringue Pie, as well as use in my dry tea mixes, household cleaning, and in my detoxification water. 

       After I harvest my lemons, I preserve them in several ways. I use to squeeze the juice and place the juice in ice cube trays, then bag them for later use. I also would squeeze them into ¼ cup portions and place them in plastic zip-lock snack bags. I have learned over the years that it is easier to slice and quarter the lemons and quick freeze them. By doing this, the juice content stays more whole and is not water downed by the ice crystals that form on the lemon ice cubes or in the bags of juice.

       I prepare them now is by washing them and removing the stem. I then thinly slice some and quarter the others on a plate. I use a plate rather than a cutting board, so that any juice that runs off can be collected. I then bag any juice remaining on the plate. I like to remove most of the seeds at this point so later I will not have to deal with them getting into my recipes.

      To quick freeze the lemons; I place wax paper on a cookie sheet, then lay the lemons on the sheet so that they are not touching. After the tray is full, I place the tray in the freezer until the lemons are frozen. I then bag them in a zip lock freezer bag. To use, I remove the amount of lemons I need and thaw. The quartered lemons work great for fresh squeezed lemon juice. The slices I use in  my Detox Water or as garnish in lemonade or in meals.

      Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Meyer Lemons Detox Water 

    Per 16- 20 oz bottle 
1 frozen slice of Orange or Lime
1 frozen slice of Cucumber
1 frozen slice of Lemon
    Break slices in half if needed to fit into bottle. Fill with water. As the frozen fruit thaws, the juice will mix with the water and create a great healthy tasting drink.

Another one of my favorite recipes that I want to share with you, is one I found years ago in a Sunset Magazine. This is one that I have made a tradition of making in January or early February.

 Lemon Loaf 

(Similar to a Lemon Pound Cake but without all the butter) 

1 ½ cup all -purpose Flour1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 eggs 
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup salad oil1 ½ teaspoon grated lemon peel

Lemon Glaze ( recipe follows)

 In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs, then beat in milk, oil, and lemon peel. Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and stir just until blended. Pour batter into a greased, floured-dusted 5 x 9 inch loaf pan or three 3 ½ by 5- inch loaf pans. Bake in a 350 degree oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. (40-45 minutes for large cake; 25 to 30 minutes for smaller cakes). When cake is done, use a long wooden skewer to poke numerous holes all the way to bottom. Prepare Lemon Glaze; drizzle hot glaze evenly over cake, letting it soak in slowly. (I slowly pour the glaze over down the middle. The glaze will want to run to the sides of the loaf. I use a small rubber spatula to help move the glaze back up into the holes). Let cool completely. Wrap airtight; store at room temperature for up to 4 days. Can freeze up to one month.

Lemon Glaze

In a small pan, combine 4 1/2 tablespoons of Lemon juice and 1/3 cup of Sugar. Stir over Medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

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