Meyer Lemons are one of my favorite ingredients to cook with. Nicknamed the “backyard lemon” it is not grown commercially for a few reasons. One reason being their skin is thinner than the regular Eureka or Lisbon lemons sold in the stores, therefore they are more fragile. However, they grow easily in the backyard and if your neighbor brings you a bag of lemons from their backyard, chances are they’re Meyer lemons. Consider yourself lucky.
Over the past several years, Meyer Lemons have grown immensely in popularity with chefs and you’ll see recipes in magazines and cooking shows incorporating them. Meyer lemons are sweeter and far less acidic than regular lemons. This is because the tree is a cross between a regular lemon and an orange or Mandarin orange.
Since the skin of the Meyer lemon is thinner than a regular lemon, be careful when zesting a Meyer lemon (or any lemon). Do not grate into the inner white pith below the rind, as it is bitter.
Meyer lemons are perfect in homemade salad dressings/vinaigrettes, desserts, lemonade; add it’s zest to your favorite shortbread or sugar cookie recipe, make Meyer lemon marmalade, and of course, just pile them into a nice ceramic bowl to admire on your kitchen sink.