Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meyer Lemon

'Improved Meyer' lemon blossoms and mature fruit

My Meyer lemon tree is my favorite plant in my garden.  I use the fruit almost daily in cooking and in my tea, and to make killer lemon bars!  See recipe below.  Everyone who lives in southern California and other mild winter areas should consider planting  a lemon tree.  Not in a mild winter area?  'Improved Meyer' lemons are one of the most likely citrus to produce fruit as houseplants.  Be sure to  keep away from heat sources and by a sunny window and water sparingly in winter.

'Improved Meyer' Lemon
  • A hybrid of lemon and orange trees, it is thinner-skinned, rounder, and more orange/yellow than standard lemons.
  • Less acidic than standard lemons and very juicy.
  • Bears fruit year round and bears at an early age.
  • Mature size is 12' tall by 15' wide, but dwarf trees are half that size.
  • Good container plant.
  • Plant in full sun, water established trees deeply every other week, fertilize with citrus food (higher in nitrogen), prune to shape.
  • Citrus ripens only on the tree.  Harvest when fully yellow to orange yellow.  Fruit can hang on tree for months.

The Best Lemon Bars Ever
I can't take credit for this recipe, a high school friend of my daughter's shared this with us.  It's my 'go to' dessert for potlucks and last minute dinner parties because it's super quick and easy and always a hit!

1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar for dusting

Crust:  Mix 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and butter with fork until crumbly.  Pat into greased 9" x 9" pan.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
Filling:  Beat eggs, remaining sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, lemon juice, and baking powder with whisk until smooth.  Pour over hot crust, return to oven and bake until filling is set, 20-30 minutes.
Cool thoroughly then dust with powdered sugar.  Cut into squares and serve.

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