Posts tagged ‘lemon’

February 6, 2011

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meyer lemons are one of my favorites fruits, sweeter than traditional store-bought lemons with a floral smell to them. As my daughter explained, they smell like a flower. Fortunately, for me, my friend Charlie had some Meyer Lemons to share with me. Thank you Charlie! (Your marmalade is on it’s way!)

This recipe is from Simply Recipes. This is my first attempt at marmalade – mind you, I have never made jam or jelly before. Going into it I knew making marmalade would be a process and during the process I wished I had taken one of Linda’s canning/jam classes to boost my confidence. Nonetheless, here I am winging it on my own, recipe in hand, and pruned fingers (from preparing the lemons). Preparing the fruit took a lot longer than I anticipated. Throughout the whole process I was feeling a little unsure of my skills – and I was hoping I didn’t just waste 2 1/2 pounds of Meyer lemons.

  • 2 1/2 lbs of Meyer lemons (about 9 lemons)
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 cups granulated sugar

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You will need to go through the long process of cutting the lemons in half, then quarter each half. Peel off any of the membrane that is easy to get to, cut off the pith from the middle of the lemon, and remove any seeds setting all this aside to use to make pectin. Once you clean out the membranes, pith and seeds, slice the quarters into thin pieces of lemon (think how big of a piece of fruit you would want to eat). (Note: the portion of lemon segments to water to sugar is 1:1:1 so weigh your lemons)

FIRST STAGE OF COOKING

Place the seeds, pith, and membranes in a double layer of cheese cloth, tie it up into a bag to become pectin. Place the lemons, water, and pectin bag in a pot.

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This is the first stage of cooking. Bring the water to a boil on medium high heat. Cook the lemons until they are softened. 25-35 minutes. Test one of the lemons make sure they are soft and not the least bit chewy. Any chewiness and you need to cook them a bit longer.

Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the pectin bag to a bowl to cool until it is cool enough to touch. Squeeze the pectin from the bag and add it to the lemon mixture.

SECOND STAGE OF COOKING

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This is is the second and final stage of cooking – add the sugar to the lemon mixture and turn the heat back on to about medium-high and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. This is the stage where you have to be very careful not to have the heat up too high so the fruit doesn’t burn. Also, be careful not to over cook the marmalade otherwise you get a gooey marmalade instead of a jelly one – that is how mine came out – more gooey than I wanted.

The marmalade may take anywhere between 20-35 minutes at this point. After about 15 minutes start checking it often. I put 3 or 4 spoons in the freezer and had them read to check.

If you put the jelly mixture on the spoon and it spreads out and thins immediately it is not done yet. If it holds it shape when it hits the spoon and then wrinkles a little when you push it with your finger that means you are good to go! Remove the pan from the heat.

CANNING

Make sure you have some glass canning jars.

I washed all my lids and jars in the dishwasher and when they were done washing I put the jars on the cookie sheet and put them in a 200°F oven while my marmalade was in the second stage of cooking. (they should be in there at least 10 minutes before using).

Using a ladle (to ensure you have evenly dispersed lemons) pour the marmalade into the jars, leaving about 1/4” head space in the jar for a vacuum seal. Making sure your lids are dry and you wipe the rim of the jar clean with a towel or wet paper towel. Place the lids on your marmalade and let sit out on the counter overnight.

You will hear “pop” sounds as the vacuum seal is created.

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Makes 6-8 half-pint jars.

In the end, some were impressed but I did not like the marmalade as much as I hoped I would. A friend had some Blue Chair Jam, Lemon Marmalade that I tried and I did not much like that one either. There is a particular taste that I do not care for that I tasted in both my and the Blue Chair version– but you may love this! It sure does look pretty though!

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February 2, 2011

Meyer Lemon Curd

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The other day my friend Linda gave me a few Meyer Lemons – my favorite! As a child, one of my closest friends had a neighbor who let us use his pool whenever we wanted. Each summer we would swim almost every day. In the yard was a Meyer lemon tree, but until recently I did not know that these were “Meyer” lemons.  

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Much sweeter and a with a darker peel, these are the kind of lemons you can eat like an orange (they are tart).  With a fragrance that is intense and nothing like other lemon varieties, the fragrant floral/lemony smell fills my house instantly. My daughter explained that they smell like lemon flowers.  A Meyer lemon smell is so distinct that you will know it’s different than a typical grocery store lemon immediately. Most lemon trees in people’s yards in California are Meyer lemons. It’s the smell of summer to me! I only wish we could grow citrus here in Nevada just so I can have a Meyer lemon tree.  

Here is an excellent recipe I got from Linda. At first taste I was blown away.

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MEYER LEMON CURD

4 teaspoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (about 3 lemons)

1 cup Meyer lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1. Wisk together zest, juice, sugar and eggs in a metal bowl and add butter.

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2. Set a bowl on a saucepan of simmering water (or use double boiler) and cook, whisking until thickened and smooth and a thermometer registers 160 about 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and force curd through a fine mesh sieve set over another bowl.

4. Serve warm or cover surface of curd with wax paper and cool completely.

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(NOTE: If substituting regular lemons increase sugar to 3/4 cup.)

April 6, 2010

Easter Breakfast – The Scones

Easter dinner is the only holiday dinner that my mom makes these days. Not because she doesn’t like to cook but because I love to cook and she lets me take care of food. After all she cooked for me and my family all those years – she’s due a break. Right? 🙂

However, I can’t resist and had to make something so I made breakfast…Tomato Basil Quiche, Quiche Lorraine, Maple Oat Scones, and Lemon Blueberry Scones…they were all terrific! If you like Starbucks Maple Oat Scones (which are my all time favorite), these tasted just like Starbucks! (My co-workers also gave them RAVE reviews!)…something to add to “the Menu.”

Scones

Maple Oat Scones
1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
2 1/2 tablespoons cold butter (small pieces)
1 large egg
1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Maple Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
5 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Using a food processor or blender, finely grind oats.
In a mixer, mix flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking powder.
Add maple syrup and butter and mix well.
In a small bowl, beat the egg with the cream.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix well.
Add pecans and mix just to incorporate.
Place dough on a floured surface. Knead and pat dough into a 8 to 10 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place wedges on top and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until light brown.
Remove scones from oven to wire rack. Let cool about 3 to 5 minutes.
Mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Adjust the amount of milk to get to the desired consistency. Spread lots of glaze over each scone and dry about 15 minutes before serving.

Lemon Blueberry Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup fresh blueberries

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
5 teaspoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
Add the butter and mix well. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Mix in the heavy cream.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead just a bit. Fold in the blueberries and shape the dough into an 8 to 10 inch round. Cut into to 8 wedges.
Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

Next…The Quiche

March 24, 2010

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars


I have been, and continue to, play with this recipe. But since so many of my co-workers raved about the bars I’ll post the recipe. I’d like to see a creamier texture to them.

Shortbread Crust
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt

Heat oven to 350°.
Cream the butter and sugar, then add flour and salt.
Cook the crust for 20 minutes until light brown.

Lemon Filling
4 eggs + 2 yolks
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. flour
6 T melted butter

Look there is a heart shining on the filling mix – that’s because it’s made with love! ha ha!

Wisk eggs, sugar, and lemon juice. Then mix in flour and butter. When the shortbread comes out of the oven slowly pour the filling onto the crust.

Reduce the temperature to 300° and cook for 30minutes or until the filling is set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (I am going to make meringue and top the bars with that – something I saw in Thomas Kellers new book).

Cover and chill. Store for 3 days.

February 28, 2010

Roasted Chicken and Asparagus

This is a versatile recipe and you can switch it up using different veggies, and serve with pasta or rice, and switch up the dressing you use – lemony vinaigrette or a tarragon vinaigrette. 

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half to make thin breasts
1lb. asparagus
2 shallots sliced
1T herbs de provence
juice of one lemon
1t. dijon mustard
1/4c. olive oil
salt and pepper
1T capers, drained

Cover a large cookie sheet with foil. Set oven to Broil.

Set the asparagus on one side of the pan drizzle with oil and salt and pepper. Season chicken with salt and pepper and herbs de provence and set on the other side of the pan.

Cook for 8 minutes and then turn the chicken and toss the asparagus.

Meanwhile make pasta or rice and dressing.

Make dressing : mix lemon juice, mustard, salt and a pepper. Whisk in oil.

Finish cooking chicken until cooked through and asparagus browns just a bit.

Remove from oven and drizzle with dressing. Serve over rice or pasta.