How to Make Your Meyer Lemon Craze Last
So it’s time to face the end of another Meyer Lemon season with sadness… or is it? Every year I was disappointed when the Meyer Lemons disappeared. No more access to this super juicy unique citrus fruit, which blends flavors of the lemon and mandarin orange. The juice of this lemon is significantly less acidic than the classic lemon, rendering it nearly drinkable alone.
This year, I decided to do something about it. I purchased the last of the Meyer Lemons in-store at my local supermarket. They were on sale, as they were trying to get rid of the last batch. I went through each lemon, making sure to only pick the ones that weren’t over-ripened yet. I got a good batch. My plans: make Meyer lemon infused vodka (for drinking), make Meyer lemon extract and freeze the remainder of the lemons whole.
For the drinking vodka, I simply sliced one lemon and quartered them. Remove all the seeds. Squish them into the neck of a clean bottle. I added a couple tablespoons of sugar to the bottle with the use of a funnel. Lastly, I filled the rest of the bottle with a decent vodka (using the same funnel). While the best grade of vodka is not totally necessary, you certainly want something you like to drink, since this is primarily for enjoyment. I used Christiania Vodka, which is super high-grade and smooth.
For the extract, you need to use 1 lemon, 1/4 water and 1/2 cup vodka. I doubled this recipe for my bottle. You want to thinly peel the skin, using a vegetable peeler or a sharp paring knife. Make sure none of the white pith is on your lemon peel. Mix together and store in a clean jar or bottle. Some recipes call for adding the lemon peel to vodka alone.
In both these case, you need to store the bottles/jars away from sunlight. Your drinking vodka should be ready to drink in one week, and your extract in two.
I juiced the peeled lemons and froze the juice in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I transferred them to separate container. You can also store them in a freezer ziploc bag.
Toss the washed and dried whole lemons into the freezer. Once frozen, transfer them to a large freezer ziploc bag.
Now you have enough Meyer lemons to last you until next season. Use the frozen lemons as you would a fresh one. Grate the zest whole the lemons are still frozen. Use the extract in place of regular lemon extract. Make Meyer lemon cakes, custards, curds, pies, ice cream, cocktails etc. to your hearts content. I know I will be looking forward to Meyer lemonade this summer.
It might be a little late for you, but at least you are prepared for next year.