Lemon Archive

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

shaker lemon pie

shaker lemon pie

A little over a year ago, my mother and I leapt at the opportunity to make a whole lemon tart featured in the New York Times and ended up with one of the most caustic, inedible things I have yet to make on this site. And people, with an ever-growing category of “disasters,” that is no small feat.

meyer lemons

We received a lot of comments on that post ranging from sympathy to eye-rolling (as one of this woman’s recipes had previously felled another reader) but the bulk of them came in two veins: You should have used Meyer lemons and you really ought to make a Shaker Lemon Pie next.

As for the Meyer lemons, a milder and thinner-skinned cousin of the lemons we have readily available in the U.S., these comments made me dig my heels in, oh, just a little. Because while Meyer lemons may have yielded a better outcome, this was not my complaint: my complaint had been that the recipe said that Meyer lemons were an option not a requirement and I held the recipe to this and it nearly cauterized a hole in the roof of my mouth.

But there was another reason that I knew that it would take more than Meyer lemons to save this tart, and that, my friends, is a simple matter of proportion. The Evil Tart’s citrus to sugar ratio was eight whole lemons to three-quarters of a cup. The standard Shaker Lemon Pie recipe uses two whole lemons to two cups of sugar. You don’t need to be a math whiz to figure out why that all went to hell in a handbasket.

meyer lemon zestmeyer lemon, beveled

Continued after the jump »

Monday, January 7, 2008

lemon bars

lemon bars

January is always the time of year when most of us get caught up in the winter produce doldrums, fueled by the dearth of flavorful fruit and the overabundance of hard, starchy vegetables. But I find if I set my mind on citrus, I can carefully sidestep most bouts of Farmers Market Mourning. There are few things teeming with more promise of a sunnier tomorrow than sour-sweet piercing members of the rutaceae family, and I’ve got an archive full of margarita cookies, lemon bundts, orange chocolate chunks, grapefruit loaves and key lime tartlets that should assure you that you need not feel that you are missing out just because the peaches and berries have gone into hibernation.

scrubbedlemon zest

But I haven’t had a lemon bar in there before now, despite repeated requests and, heck, even pleading for one by various people inside my computer. You’d think it is because I’m stubborn but it actually that my bar (ha) for lemon bars has been set very high by my mother, who has an award-winning recipe somewhere in her files. Upon request, she sent it to me a couple years ago, but when they didn’t come out the way I had remembered, her response was “oh, I must have sent you the wrong one.” Tell me, if you had a recipe for lemon bars that you had won you a cooking contest, why would you have a second version in your box that wasn’t as good? Perhaps if you ask her, you’ll get further than I did.

lemon macroemptied lemon halves

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Saturday, November 3, 2007

lemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed apples

lemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed apples

You know how you know it’s November? I actually made breakfast this morning. I’m sorry if that shattered your pristine image of me. Sure, I occasionally cook big, elaborate brunches for friends or family and I even spoil myself from time to time with yogurt with pumpkin butter and pepita granola, but pretty consistently, Saturday and Sunday morning I chew on my fingernails until Alex wakes up, or sometimes, if I’m really hungry and he’s still sleeping (the boy is a sleep MACHINE) I’ll sit next to him on the bed and stare until he wakes up and brings us either bagels from Murray’s or eggs from the diner. Yes, you heard that right. I get a fried egg and toast take out. Yes, I am ashamed to know myself sometimes, too.

granny smithssliced applesricotta pancake batterlemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed apples

Nonetheless, as it appears that despite my caveats this NaBloPoMo thing is on, I figure that if nothing else I can use it to clean out the refrigerator. Have you ever bought something but forgotten to eat it then found six weeks later that it was in the very back of the refrigerator, still in perfect condition? Did it make you feel wildly uncomfortable about the preservatives that must be in your food? Did you get over it and eat it anyway? Well, I did. I found some little green apples in the produce drawer this morning that Alex, despite loving green apples, had been staunchly avoiding because they had actually ripened (true story: the boy doesn’t like ripe fruit), and then there was some leftover ricotta from a dish we’ll get to next week and a lemon that really had better days, but wouldn’t my grandmothers be proud that I hadn’t wasted food?

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, September 6, 2007

lemon layer cake

lemon layer cake

I know people are prone to wild disagreements over Food Network personality Paula Deen. Sure, some gush that she is a “hot-damn pistol” and exactly like their “favorite aunt, who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her” even at the expense of their readership and others think she’s just hated on because she’s a successful woman, most people cast a far less sympathetic glance in her direction, if not for her Big Pork connections, then for her Fried Butter Balls, seen as her obvious attempt to “kill us all.”

batterseparating eggsseparating eggszesting lemons

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

lemon risotto

that 70s salad

I hate clutter. You might think that this means that I live a Type A sort of white glove test-passing existence, but anyone who knows me can vouch wholeheartedly that I do not. Because I’m lazy. But every so often (er, 28 days or so) I go on a cleaning bender and purge and sweep to my heart’s content. My inboxes get Bit Literate, absurdly insignificant things get vacuumed (dusty ledge around the walls of the apartment, your days are numbered) and things cluttered in this ever-expanding document called “to blog” get purged, well, onto your screens.

I’ve gotten especially behind this month, so I hope you don’t mind that I dump five ideas onto you and then move onto what I really want to talk about, this new awesome thing that rhymes with nacro and nens. Sad but true, this entry is the equivalent of bartering two more bites of broccoli at the dinner table to ensure that you can get a scoop of Breyers Neapolitan for dessert, but like the brown, white and pink-striped stuff always was, I’ll try to make it completely worth it in the end.

dizzying array of cucumbers

Continued after the jump »