In preparation for the new year and my vow to live in the now (damn, I rhymed), I went ahead with a little jam making despite wanting to wait for my new kitchen. New kitchen? At this rate, it does not look likely anytime in my 30’s. However, the local Florida Meyer lemons are here *now* and once they’re gone, well, they’ll just be silly expensive at the market.
Last nite I got out my paring knife and enjoyed the clean smell of fresh lemons. Bifurcating the peel, I scooped out the lemon innards, de-pitted and then looked at my lemon halves in awe. Meyers are a beautiful lemon.
At this point in the evening, I didn’t have big plans for the peel. So I zested the peel, wrapped it up nicely and deposited it in the Sabjimata freezer section, keeping in mind the vegan pound cake recipe in Veganomicon.
Six lemons equalled four cups of juicy lemon stuff. Perfect for one recipe of jam.
I had the seeds on the counter when my husband walked in, admiring their bigness. We (he) planted some Meyer lemon seeds a few weeks back, but he said they were way lest virile looking than these babies. We (he) will plant some new trees from these juicy seeds, which will hopefully yield a nice citrus grove for me to frolic about with a sheer dupatta lip-syncing Bollywood songs.
Originally I bought the lemons to make jam from, yes. But I had a greater vision. I wanted to serve a rich Italian-style rice pudding in the empty lemon halves, topped with a spot of lemon jam and dark chocolate shavings. Yum. But my husband dashed that fantasy when he called rice pudding the step-child of desserts? Or was it orphan? Anyway, his point was that after eating a big meal, rice pudding was an unwanted burden to gulp down.
I don’t know. But I don’t want any bastard desserts at my birthday so my cutesy pudding boats went the way of the compost.
Not after a little decorating experimentation, though.
Be honest. They do make a totally cute tea light holder! Don’t know if I will be using this idea, however, since putting my peels to much tastier use. Candied Meyer lemon peel!
Score the lemon with paring knife into sixths.
Peel back rind.
Cut into strips about 1/4″ wide. With paring knife, remove white pith.
Boil water and blanche peels then drain. Repeat.
I used 3 Meyer lemons, which are about the size of a navel orange. For step five, I brought 4 cups of water to a boil and then added 3 cups of sugar. Stir and dissolve. Add sliced peel. Stir, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
Remove peels with slotted spoon and put in sieve to strain. Within a few seconds transfer to bowl and toss with sugar. You may also add some citric acid if you like the taste of Sour Patch Kids. Coat evenly in sugar and then let candied peels cool on parchment paper.
Ideally, you will have a lovely lemon infused syrup left behind. I, of course, had a volcanic eruption which hardened into a tasty, yet difficult to mine, sweet pumice.
The resulting candy tasted all too pleasing. Candied Meyer lemon peel definitely takes some time to prepare. The slicing, the de-pithing, the slow cooking. And my kitchen and my skin are coated in a sweet sticky mess. But the candy. The candy! It’s so good! Too good. Good like you want to keep popping it into your mouth good. But when you know how much time it took to make, then it truly helps temper the voraciousness of the tongue and appreciate, slowly, the treatiness of this treat.
And did I mention I made some jam? I think I did at the beginning of this post.
I made some croissants today for my kids and our neighbor friends. It wasn’t until the evening that I tasted one *with* the lemon jam. So good. But you know what would have been better? If I baked a square of dark chocolate into the croissant. The sour sweetness of this jam is just begging to be paired with the bitter flavor of dark chocolate. Minimum 70% cocoa.
I can imagine this jam in between the layers of a rich chocolate cake or filling a chocolately iced eclair. Sounds good, no? Hopefully this is the perfect evening post to help you have sweet dreams. I am headed off to the bedroom, avoiding the kitchen along the way. I have a batch of candied satsuma orange peels cooling on the counter and if I get too close, I just might burn my tongue.