Posts Tagged 'lemon'

Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

Strawberries

I started making jam somewhat by accident.  I originally bought a canner and associated tools so that I could get chicken stock out of the freezer and into jars.  Last summer I decided to branch out and try my hand at making jam.

Making jam in southern California is more relaxed.  There, strawberries are available virtually year round (I like to tell the story of asking in November when the last strawberries would be available and being told by the farmer that it was just the beginning of the winter crop).  On the east coast, there’s a much tighter time period where fruit is available and it turns out that I almost ran out of strawberry season in which to make jam.

My mom used to make lots of jams and other canned goods when I was much younger but had gotten busy and fallen out of the habit.  Given we were on the same side of the country now and that we were coming up to visit for father’s day anyway, we decided to do some strawberry jam making together.

So, this morning, we drove to a couple of farm stands.  Mason-Dixon Farms was out of berries for the year (but did have some of the first eastern shore corn of the year) and Brown’s Orchards didn’t open for another 45 minutes.  We decided to drive on for a bit because it was a beautiful morning and came across a sign proclaiming strawberries and pointing down a long driveway.  At first we drove past, but a u-turn later, we followed the road long enough that we thought we might have passed it.  But sitting in the back of a truck were several quarts of strawberries and a box to place money in.  After we almost bought them out of strawberries, we headed back to Brown’s to pick up some of the blueberries that their sign promised.

We first made strawberry jam from a very simple recipe.  Then we moved on to the strawberry lemon marmalade.  I first stumbled across this last year as I bought more strawberries than the jam recipe I was using called for.  Knowing Angela’s penchant for lemons, I decided to try my hand at marmalade.  The fact that I made it again is description enough of how it turned out last year.

Credit to my wonderful wife for the photographs.

Hulling Strawberries with my Mom

Strawberry Lemon Marmalade
Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

1/4 cup thinly sliced lemon peel
4 cups hulled and crushed strawberries (from about 2 quarts of whole strawberries)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
6 cups granulated sugar

  1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
  2. In a sauce pan, place the lemon peel and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and then boil for 5 minutes.  Drain the lemon peel, discarding the water and reserving the peel.
  3. Place the crushed strawberries, lemon peel, and lemon juice in a large non-reactive pan.  Stir in the pectin until it is well dissolved.
  4. Measure the sugar into a bowl.
  5. Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.   Add the sugar all at once.  While stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil that can’t be stirred down.  Continue stirring and boil for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.
  6. Skim any foam off the top of the marmalade mixture.
  7. Carefully transfer the marmalade into the prepared jars, leaving a 1/4″ head room.  Wipe the rims, add the lids, then screw it in place.  Put the jars into the canner.
  8. Bring the canner to a full boil, then process for 10 minutes.  Remove the canner from the heat, allow to set for 5 minutes, then open the lid and remove the jars.  Allow the jars to cool overnight.

Makes about 8 jars.

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Meyer Lemon Tart

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This recipe is specifically posted for Christina, my cousin Jesse’s wife. They came to visit us in California and, after I had served the Meyer Lemon Tart as well let slip about this food blog, Christina asked if it was going to be posted here. Well, Christina, here it is. And the rest of you can read it too.

I made this mostly by accident. Shortly after making the Meyer Lemon Sorbet, some one at work left a bag filled with Meyer lemons in the kitchen area. Given the success the previous recipe was, I snatched up more than my fair share (I initially took less but when there were some left over as I was leaving, I grabbed a few more). To make me seem like an even worse person, the Meyer lemons have sat in my fridge since then.

After awhile, I decided that it was finally time to do something with the Meyer lemons. While more sorbet always is good, I wanted to do something different with them. So I finally decided on this recipe because I like tarts and Angela likes lemons (there’s a joke in there somewhere but I can’t quite find it).

I’m pretty sure this is the only recipe I’ve ever made that required more than a dozen eggs. This recipe is not for the faint of heart. It is rich and over-the-top. It uses just under a pound of butter, a good amount of sugar, and the previously mentioned eggs. But, then again, when you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right.

As you might’ve guessed given the prior statement of a recipe request, it was pretty good. To me, it was the perfect balance between lemon, sweet, and tart. Angela though it wasn’t tart enough (but she’s wrong). We didn’t need to eat a lot of it as a small piece was quite enough to suffice. It went quite well with the Lucas & Lewellen 2005 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc.

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Meyer Lemon Tart
Adapted from The New York Times Dessert Cookbook

1 1/2 cups plus 3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
8 large egg yolks
1/2 tbsp milk
12 oz. all purpose flour (about 2 1/3 cups)
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
1 cup Meyer lemon juice
zest from 5 or 6 Meyer lemons
5 large eggs

  1. Allow 1 cup of butter to soften then cut into tablespoons.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the softened butter and 1/2 cup sugar.
  3. Add 1 egg yolk and the milk and mix to combine.
  4. Mix the flour with 1/4 tsp salt and then slowly add it to the electric mixer. Continue mixing until the flour is incorporated.
  5. Divide the dough into two balls, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Reserve one ball of dough for a future use.
  6. Grease a 10-inch tart pan. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it on a lightly floured surface to 1/8″ thickness. Place the dough into the tart pan and prick the bottom with a fork. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  7. In a nonstick saucepan, place the lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 cup sugar, 11 tbsp butter, and 1/8 tsp salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the butter melted.
  8. In a bowl, combine the whole eggs and the 7 remaining egg yolks and whisk until well blended. Temper the lemon mixture into the eggs slowly. Return the lemon and egg mixture to the saucepan.
  9. Heat the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a pudding like consistency. Remove from the heat. Strain the lemon curd into a bowl.
  10. Remove the tart pan from the freezer. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the tart shell and fill with pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the aluminum foil and pastry weights and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tart shell is golden.
  12. Pour the lemon curd into the tart shell and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Serves 8.

Tagine Djaj Bi Zaytoun Wal Hamid (Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon)

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I think it’s finally time to come to the conclusion that not all food looks good. I suppose it’s a bit hard to make a yellow tinged chicken covered with a yellow sauce look appetizing, particularly in a picture. When I showed the picture to Angela, she agreed that it didn’t look good but did, without prompting, declare that it was good. So it at least has that going for it.

I had originally decided to preserve some lemons when citrus season first stated here in California. I didn’t really have a clue what I’d do with them but it seemed the right thing to do. Given the length of time they needed to mature, I had somewhat forgotten about them. They had been sitting in a mini-fridge that I use from time to time (it’s a good place to cool stock or for drying pancetta, for example).

For dinner the other night, I really wanted something different. I wanted something exotic but familiar, all at the same time. This recipe seemed a good fit, not least because I had all the ingredients that I needed.

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This recipe is apparently the classic Moroccan dish. Given my knowledge of Moroccan cooking (witness the Moroccan-style pork fiasco), I’ll have to trust the cookbook on that one. Despite my previous desicration of the cuisine of Morocco, I decided to modify the recipe. The original recipe had olives. I removed them partially because I don’t like them (as Will can attest, I’ve tried them multiple times and have yet to find any I like) and partially because I don’t have any. I also removed diced cilantro and parsley because I didn’t have any (our fresh produce stock was limited as we had been on vacation for a week and a half and the farmer’s market isn’t until Sunday).

I still think it turned out fairly well while still managing to be somewhat Moroccan (at least it wasn’t pork). It was pleasantly lemony without being overly tart. I’ll make it again when I want something exotic but familiar.

And, while it may seem like a good idea, don’t take a bite of preserved lemon right out of the container. I didn’t know anything could be quite that bitter and salty at the same time.

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Tagine Djaj Bi Zaytoun Wal Hamid (Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon)
Adapted from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 chicken, cut into 6 pieces
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
peel of 1 preserved lemon, diced

  1. Heat the olive oil in a wide sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, then add the garlic, saffron, and ginger.
  2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan. Pour in 1 1/4 cups water.
  3. Simmer, covered, turning occasionally for 15 minutes. Remove the breasts and cover with aluminum foil. Simmer for 25 more minutes. Return the breasts to the pan.
  4. Stir into the sauce the lemon juice and the preserved lemon peel. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces and simmer the sauce for additional time if the sauce is still too thin.
  5. Serve the chicken with the sauce on top.

Serves 4.


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Lemons Preserved in Salt and Lemon Juice
Adapted from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon

4 lemons
4 tbsp kosher salt
juice of 4 additional lemons

  1. Clean the lemons thoroughly. Cut the lemons into quarters while still leaving the quarters attached at the stem end. Place 1 tbsp of salt in the center of each lemon. Put in a non-reactive container and store in a cool place for 3 to 4 days.
  2. Press the lemons down in the container as much as possible and then add the lemon juice to cover them. Store in a cool place for 1 month.

Makes 4 preserved lemons.

Meyer Lemon Sorbet

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I realize it’s a bit strange to make sorbet in the middle of winter. But this is southern California and cold is a very relative concept around here (it was actually the recent rain that was bothering me).

However, winter also is lemon season (the fruit schedule from the farmer’s market claims that lemons are year round but I only see them in winter). I actually missed Meyer lemons the first time they appeared at the farmer’s market as I thought I had a bunch of lemons at home that were given to me by a coworker (turned out they were actually limes).

Angela and I were showing a friend of her family’s around and we went to Huntington Beach. It just so happened that they were having a farmer’s market that day and there was a vendor selling Meyer lemons. Given that I had passed them up the first time, I decided to snap them up while they were around.

Neither of us had had Meyer lemons before. They don’t really grow on the east coast (where ultimately we are from). I had, however, heard of their near-mythical flavor which is what drew me to them. It doesn’t hurt that Angela loves lemons.

While there are other lemon vehicles out there, none are quite as pure as sorbet. Plus I had a recipe for Meyer lemon sorbet. The sorbet is almost full proof to make. My only problem was I didn’t have quite enough for a full recipe.

The sorbet was quite good. I find the less bitter flavor of Meyer lemons to be significantly better than Eureka lemons. It was a cleaner flavor.

Angela thought that it could use to be a bit sweeter so you may want to add additional sugar in the future (and you think that’s a recipe note but it’s really a note to myself). I also think I’d replace the vodka with Limoncello next time.

And some kind soul left some home grown Meyer lemons in the kitchen area at work. I may have taken a few more than my fair share but I’ll put them to good use.

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Meyer Lemon Sorbet
Adapted from Room for Dessert
1 2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
2/3 cup Meyer lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
1 tbsp vodka

  1. Place the water, sugar, and lemon zest in a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Stir in the lemon juice and vodka into the water mixture. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. Strain the mixture through a sieve and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place in the freezer until ready to serve.

Makes about 3 cups.