Last December we had a bumper crop of lemons, easily 5 times what we had harvested the year before.
I get asked what we do with all these lemons.
First, I use lemon juice on Swiss chard and artichokes from the garden. I freeze juice from our lemons to use throughout the year for this and other recipes.
I use lemons to make lemon dill chicken, lemon poppyseed muffins, lemon chicken (with lemongrass), and lemon parmesan penne. I also use lemon juice on crepes, and in various other recipes.
I also use them to make lemon meringue pie.
You can find the recipe for pie here.
I planted three more Meyer lemon trees in our white garden three years ago (shown above in bud last year), with the express intent to have enough lemons to make lemonade. The lemon trees in the backyard have never yielded enough lemons for me to make lemonade more than a couple of pitchers of lemonade a year, along with the other things I make, except for this last year. Having lemonade throughout the year, from juice that I’ve frozen, is the goal I have in growing more lemons. The three trees in the front yard will grow together as a hedge to cover the cinder block wall, and will help ensure that I have enough lemons for lemonade.
You can find the recipe for lemonade here.
A few things that I love about Meyer lemons:
They are very sweet. I get asked a lot if they are oranges (both in person and here on the blog) because of their dark yellow color. Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin, and they are delicious!
They have thin skins, and a lot of juice. I can easily get twice the amount of juice from a Meyer lemon as I can from a typical Eureka lemon from the grocery store. They can also grow really big (the size of oranges) at home, which means even more juice.
They tolerate a few degrees colder temperatures than Eureka lemon trees. I have lost two Meyer lemon trees in the backyard due to temperatures that got down to 26ºF, but the larger trees only had damaged branches those years.
Like all citrus, they smell amazing when they are in bloom. My trees are covered in buds now and will be blooming again soon!
Hi Brandy an all from Australia :), and we love to make both lemonade and also what we call orange juice cordial in bulk as well. We make the bulk syrup and refrigerate it and pour a little in a glass and top with cold water for the orange juice cordial, or either water or mineral water with the lemonade syrup. The mineral water is a nice bubbly addition when you have guests over or simply for a change.
Thank you for the recipe for the lemon meringue pie too, I have always wanted to try making that but found it a little intimidating, your recipe sounds a lot easier than some I have seen.
All I have to do is get some cheap lemons here, I am keeping an eye out for buying a box here so I can make a bulk supply of lemonade syrup and also to freeze a lot for other recipes. We should start seeing the prices come down shortly as the orange prices have. We live near a huge citrus growing area so will look when we are travelling down there to see what we can purchase cheaply to bring home and process.
We are currently thinking of buying dwarf lemon, orange trees and some passionfruit so we can have some fruit here as it is so expensive usually. I am however looking forward to when we have saved enough to purchase our own land and have our house built so we can plant lots of fruit trees in our own yard.
You should make Strawberry lemonade or blackberry lemonade. So yummy
Are you hand-squeezing all of the juice? Sometimes I have opportunity to buy huge bags of oranges and we don’t use them all up in time. I wondered about freezing the juice, but the idea of hand-squeezing all of those with my arthritis is a bit daunting.
Nope! I am using a citrus juicer that I picked up at a garage sale. $5 well-spent!
You can certainly put the trees in pots! Then when you get your own place you can transplant them into the ground. My fig tree used to be a little potted tree at my last house.
Lemon Meringue is super easy to make; I just have to remember to make it early enouigh so that it can cool. That’s my biggest challenge.
So refreshing to see your lemons….we still have a cold spell here being just early spring here in New Jersey…Looking at your pics Brandy def. an encouragement to the heart of the seasons to come…
Your pictures make my heart happy.
I just love Meyer lemons! I wish we had a climate where we could grow them year-round. Last year, I was able to find them at Sam’s club for $2.99/12, which I didn’t think was too bad. I hope you do hit your goal of year-round lemonade!
That is certainly an abundance of lemons! It’s a flavor I didn’t like much as a child, but do now that I’m (much) older. It took me a long time to make a passable lemon meringue pie. The lemon filling was my downfall. To new lemon pie makers: don’t try making the filling in an aluminum pan—it turns green, and not a very appetizing green either! I tried using my Mom’s recipe—she was famous in the family for lemon pie—-but hers’ never set up for me. As soon as I tried a different recipe, I stopped having trouble at all!! The difference is the amount of cornstarch, but I swear she made it work with the lesser amount in her recipe–and I can not. It’s not the first recipe of hers that I no longer use, but there really aren’t many. She was a very good cook, especially at baking. I have added many recipes that I collected myself to hers.
Your pie looks so good. I was wondering for a family of your size how many pies do you make at a time. In my house with just 2 growing boys and the husband and I it takes 2 pies if we are going to have enough left over for the week. (3 days it is all gone) I bet your growing boys can put a couple of pies away at a meal. I love to see kids eat what their mom made special for them. Enjoy those pies and lemon aid all summer long. I am going to go dig now for the recipe for lemon pound cake my grandmother made. It was so very good.
Aha Brandy exactly what we are going to do indeed, is buy the dwarves and keep them in pots till we get our own property and transplant them there.
Like yourself we are indeed working everything gradually into our budget, we are going to try to work each tree into the grocery budget now that we have stocked most things up to a 12 month supply our groceries should be substantially less now. Alternatively we may just go and buy them with the $100 a month gardening budget we have not been using for months and months as our gardening mowing and seed saving hobby businesses has been paying for all our gardening needs and it has not been coming out of our usual pays.
We will take the time to have a look around to see if we can find at a good price on fruit & berry trees as of late the prices have been really high.
Hi Melissa and thanks for the idea hadn’t thought about those 2 lemonades at all.
We do indeed grow a huge patch of strawberries here so that could be another possibility I hadn’t thought of, we just have to stop eating all the picked strawberries before they get inside the front door to accomplish that :p. I also want to make rose cordial made of rose petals which I just adore as well, we also have roses growing here so that is on the list of things to do and make too.
Since a pie is normally cut into 8 pieces, I make 2 pies. There are 9 of us, plus when I make pie my parents are also here sometimes, which makes for 11. I don’t plan on having leftover pies for the week, though–that would take a lot! If people want seconds then both pies are gone that day; sometimes there are a couple of pieces leftover for the next day, but not usually.
How about lemon curd? It is wonderful! Meyer lemons make it even better!
Hi Brandy and All,
I love Meyer lemons and keep my lemon and blood orange tree both in pots. I just wanted to share my favorite recipe for Meyer lemons. It is for grilled chicken but I also use this recipe as the marinade and then bake the chicken. Either one works well. I usually have all the ingredients for this recipe on hand so it is one of my go-to recipes for a simple dinner.
Your bumper crop of lemons reminds me so much of apple season here in the fall. We don’t have apple trees, but every year we buy a bushel or two of “C” grade apples from an orchard and spend days processing them. We usually making a bunch of apple pies and apple crisps for the freezer, plus make a big pot of apple sauce for canning/freezing. By the time we’re done, our cramped and aching hands are stained brown for days. We swear we never want to peel another apple again…but we always do it again the next year!:p
Out of curiosity, do you ever eat the fresh Meyer lemons like an orange? I love to eat the lemon slices that restaurants put on the rim of the drinking glass. I’m wondering if your lemons are sweet enough that you can eat them as they are.
I will eat regular lemons when sliced, with salt. I love lemons! These are even sweeter; I stlll eat them the same way on occasion. I’ll also add slices to water.
Yes, I love your pictures too.. always brighten’s my day 🙂 and encourages me~
I plan to send some with the family in their lunch the next day. That is why I make leftovers. I make and freeze brownies, cookies, and cake too. I use Splenda as my husband has diabetes. But they (the boys) don’t know or care. It does not taste different to them. It is all they have known.
Your pie is very pretty. Mine in not as pretty as your pie. I also make a pie without a topping. That is probably why mine does not look as pretty as yours.
I saw a lemon meringue pie the other day, and thought of you, wondering if you made them with your lemons. Must have been intuitive :o). I look forward to seeing the lemon recipe links. The pasta dish is sounding good right now. I’ve started some trees from grocery store lemons. Now you’ve got me pondering a Meyer lemon tree.
Since Meyer lemons are sweeter than the ones you usually see at the store, does it feel more like you are adding orange juice to your dishes than lemon? Does it sweeten the dish?
Good question. It isn’t that sweet, though; it’s still sour–just someohow even better tasting, and more perfumed, too. I gave one to someone the other day and she said it smelled like liquid sunshine 🙂
You may already do this, but if not — zest your peels and freeze the zest. It is great for adding to dishes a few tablespoons at a time.
There is a local deli which makes a delicious salad with spinach, pasta, and chicken served with a homemade lemon vinaigrette. Researching and experimenting to find a good lemon vinaigrette recipe is on my list for this year.
The pie looks amazing. You definitely are excellent in the kitchen, Brandy.
I have never been able to make a meringue pie successfully even when following the recipe super closely. Not sure where it goes wrong :/
That pie looks so good! I was craving a lemon meringue pie this weekend, but when I looked I had only bought limes. 🙁 Too bad I don’t have a tree that I can pluck them from! I wonder if I’d be able to find this type of lemon at my local produce store… I’d love to try it sometime.
I normally use 10″ pans for home so I cut into 10 slices…one side I cut into 4 slices, the other side into 6. I like a small wedge, so do others. The men always want the larger. When I make more than one kind of pie at a time I always cut them that way too as some folks want the smaller piece of each pie.
Lemons, the regular kind, Eureka??, were 79 cents ea at the store yesterday and they were tiny. No bigger than a lime. The limes actually were quite hefty and only 39 cts ea so I bought 4 of those.
Brandy, completely unrelated to lemons (which I love and I’m enthralled with your pictures of laden trees), but in your photos what is your lemons and cutting board sitting on? The embroidery is absolutely beautiful and the way the seams and stuff work just have me enthralled *laugh*. Just curious :).
It’s a vintage hand-embroidered dresser scarf.
It’s beautiful! It’s great that you get to use it to help make such a wonderful photo setting!