Eureka on the Left, Meyer to the Right: photo by Wayne Surber
Meyer lemons--another "not until I came to LA" delight. These mild and sweet lemons have begun their annual appearance at the farmers' market, and if you Californians take an afternoon ramble around the block, I bet you'll find a Meyer lemon tree or two in your neighborhood.
Their smooth, dark yellow-ornage skin gives them away, as does their (usually) squat, circular shape. Their peels tend to be softer and less thick than your regular lemons. They were first discovered in China, and scientists believe they are a hybrid of a regular lemon and a mandarin or orange. Due to their sweetness, I like my Meyers in desserts, but they can work in savory recipes as well, but not as well in things that should be acidic, like vinaigrettes.
Some recipes I want to try include preserved Meyer lemons, Meyer lemon black pepper icebox cookies, Meyer lemon martini, and the very intriguing Meyer lemon pizza. For even more on these special citrus fruits, check out Cooking with Amy's All About Meyer Lemons.
On to my New Year's Day creation. Take a recipe for lemon bars, a mini-muffin pan, and viola. They're so small, no one will know you've already broken your resolutions by baking them.
Meyer Lemon Bites
3/4 c. flour
3 tbsp. powdered sugar
3/4 of a stick of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 tsp. finely grated Meyer lemon zest
powdered sugar for sifting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 24-count mini-muffin pan.
For the crust
Whisk the flour and sugar in a medium bowl to combine. Using a pastry mixer or your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles oatmeal. Using your fingertips, press about 1/2 tbsp. of dough in each mini-muffin cup, filling about 1/3 of each cup. Bake for about 10 minutes, until tops are pale gold.
For the filling
While the crust is baking, blend the eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Blend in the flour, sugar and baking powder until thoroughly combined (iIf you're not lazy like me, you can mix the dry ingredients together in a seperate bowl before adding to the lemon mix. I didn't want to dirty another bowl).
Add a few spoonfuls of lemon mixture to each mini-muffin cup. You can fill them quite full--they don't rise much. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes in pan, then remove to rack. When completely cool, sift powdered sugar over the top.