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Texas Eats: Meyer Lemons

If you travel to the southern part of the state, you might find these under the alias of “Valley lemons,” since they thrive in the warm climes along the Rio Grande. The fruit is the same, though: It’s a sweeter, more subtly flavored variety of the familiar, pucker-inducing lemon. It’s rind is thinner, too, and softer, which means these don’t have quite the shelf life of oranges and grapefruits, their hardier citrus kin. In the kitchen, use them like regular lemons, keeping in mind that their flavor is sweeter – so in some dessert recipes you’d be wise to reduce added sugar. Their peel candies beautifully, too, to make a festive garnish. All around the state, a dwarf variety of the Meyer lemon tree makes a great outdoor potted plant. Protect it from any freezes in the winter, but take time to smell its pretty purple-white blossoms in the spring. By fall, you’ll have ripening fruit – just in time to meet up with cranberries on the Thanksgiving table.

5 Comments

  1. Tex wrote:

    The Meyer isn’t really a true lemon…it’s a hybrid of a lemon and a mandarin orange. I was watching Good Eats last night and Alton mentioned that tidbit…was news to me!

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Permalink
  2. Laura wrote:

    Hi Beth,
    I have a couple of Meyer Lemon trees in my backyard. This is the first time I’ve grown the lemons. Do you have any idea when I should pick them? They look beautiful and ripe right now…
    thanks,
    Laura

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 11:43 pm | Permalink
  3. Beth wrote:

    Thanks for the info, Tex!

    And, Laura, if they’re yellow all over they should be ready to go! They’ll keep longer on the tree, though, so I’d wait to pick them until you’re ready to use them. Note all bets are off if the temperature drops below freezing, though. I’d pick them – or protect them if you can – if a freeze is forecast!

    Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  4. Dorothy wrote:

    This is the first time I have grown Meyer Lemons. I have many that are ripe on my tree. and now I have new blossoms on the tree for new lemons. do I need to pick the ripe fruit or can it stay on the tree?
    Dorothy

    Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  5. Beth wrote:

    They keep longer on the tree than they do after you’ve picked them, so I’d leave them on the tree until you’re ready to use them.

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 10:35 am | Permalink

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