The first time I bought Meyer Lemons was by mistake. I noticed these cute little handle-bags filled with lemons. I picked one up to make lemon water for Charlotte’s sore throat. Once home, I noticed they were different. Not quite as yellow as regular lemons, the skin on these were much thinner and had a slightly orange tint to them. I sliced one open. The flesh looked oh, so juicy. Upon tasting it, I realized how much sweeter it was than a regular lemon. I looked on the bag and only then did I notice the words Meyer Lemons.
This darling citrus fruit is apparently a cross between a lemon and a mandarin, and grows profusely in California. I could just imagine having a Meyer Lemon tree in my backyard if I was only so lucky to live in California. They are lower in acidity, sweeter and more floral in taste, making them just perfect for lemon desserts and even cocktails. I once made a delicious Lemon Drop Martini with this little sweetie. Once difficult to find here in Montreal, they are now more common in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Unlike the regular lemon though, this little baby has a shorter shelf-life and is seasonal. They can be found from December or January through May, early June if you’re in luck.
I whipped up these gorgeous little Meyer Lemon Soufflés, courtesy of Martha Stewart. Oh, they were the yummiest! And a first for me with soufflés.
Meyer Lemon Soufflés
- 8 large lemons, preferably Meyer
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Trim the tip ends, or bottoms, from the lemons so that the fruit sits level. I suggest you keep these little tip ends, and you’ll see why in a minute. Cut the stem ends, or tops, about a quarter of the way down, maybe a little less, making cuts parallel with the bottom.
Hold a lemon above a sieve set over a bowl, and scoop out the pulp. Repeat with the remaining lemons. If you’re not careful, you might scrape a hole in the bottom, as I did. Not to worry though. That’s why I suggested you hold on to those little tips. Now you can just add the tips on the bottom so the soufflé batter doesn’t ooze out.
Squeeze the juice from the pulp, and reserve. Repeat with all lemons. Place shells on prepared baking sheet.
Combine egg yolks, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 cup of reserved lemon juice, and flour in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until very thick, about 8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and return to mixer. Beat on medium speed until cool, scraping down sides several times, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine egg whites and remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in clean mixer bowl. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch. Remove bowl from heat and return to mixer. Beat on low speed until frothy. Gradually increase the speed until meringue is shiny and holds soft peaks, 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to over beat. Whisk 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk mixture. Gently fold int the remaining meringue. Carefully fill the prepared lemon shells to just below the rims, or to the very top of the rims as I did!
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until meringue is slightly golden and rises about 1 inch above the shell, about 14 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to serving plates. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired. Serve immediately.