Lemons are in season now, so it’s time to add a few lemon recipes to our list of favorites. My favorite lemon is the thin-skinned, slightly sweeter Meyer lemon.
Although it’s hard to find in stores, as few are grown and shipped commercially, it is sometimes seen at Trader Joe’s and farmers markets. Discovered in the early years of the 20th century, the Meyer was a cross between an orange and a standard sour lemon. Try them when you can find them, or feel free to substitute any other lemon from the supermarket.
Two recipes are offered today, Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Muffins, a staple at the B Street House, and homemade lemon curd, one of my mother’s recipes.
Try the lemon curd on the muffins, if you are truly a lemon lover, or use the curd in fruit tarts, and on any variety of freshly baked scones.
MEYER LEMON CHEESECAKE MUFFINS
2 cups all-purpose flour
Two-thirds of a cup of sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
Quarter teaspoon baking soda
Quarter teaspoon salt
Zest from two Meyer lemons, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon juice
Three-quarters of a cup of dairy sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (half cup) melted butter, cooled
8-ounce package of cream cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Cut the cream cheese into 12 cubes and place on a plate in the freezer while making the muffin batter.
Whisk the dry ingredients together, including the lemon zest. Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl and add them all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir everything together, but don’t over-mix. Some lumps should remain. Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups. Either spray with butter-flavored spray or use paper liners.
Remove cream cheese from freezer and drop one lump into each of the muffins. Press down on the cream cheese until it is covered on the top with batter, or spoon a little batter over the top of the cream cheese. Top with turbinado sugar, if desired, before baking. Bake at 375 for 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins are golden. Test with a toothpick in the batter portion of the muffin. Cool for a few minutes before removing from pan. Makes 12 regular-sized muffins. Reduce baking powder to 1¾ teaspoons for high elevation.
MOM’S LEMON CURD
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
Half cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon peel zest from a micro-plane zester
Quarter cup butter
Place the eggs and sugar in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Whisk the egg and sugar well with a wire whisk until it is completely incorporated. Stir in juice and peel. Cook over simmering water five to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Reduce heat and drop butter into the curd in small chunks and stir completely until all of the butter melts and curd is thick. Remove from heat, chill and keep refrigerated. Makes about 2 cups of lemon curd.
Carolyn Eichin owns B Street House Bed and Breakfast in Virginia City.