So I’ve been away for awhile. A loooooooooooong while. Like two years. And in that two years, a lot of stuff has gone down, both in a culinary way and just in life in general. People got married (me & Tristan), people had babies (not me), people bought houses (again, me & Tristan) and so on and so forth. I might go back through time a bit in a future post and just get some of my most favoritest food pics up, for posterity and all that, but in this post I want to talk about lemons specifically Meyer lemons. So even though it seems really strange to me in the frozen wasteland in which I currently reside, winter is the time to buy citrus fruits. Thank you more temperate climates!! I got a bag of Meyer lemons last night for $1.98. $1.98!!!!!! They could be the cheapest thing I’ve purchased in quite some time….
In preparation for starting up this blog again, I have been reading A LOT of food blogs and one of my favorites is Shauna Sever’s blog, Piece of Cake. I highly recommend visiting it! I just love her writing and her taste in recipes and her photos and I could probably go on and on here for quite some time folks so just trust me, she’s pretty cool. Well when I saw these lemons sitting there innocently on the shelf with their ridiculously low price I immediately remembered that a few of Shauna’s recipes I had skimmed used these puppies and looked verra, verra tasty. I chose to try the Meyer Lemon Sables because she said she adapted the recipe from Dorie Greenspan and anything Dorie has made, is making now, or will make in the future is pretty much guaranteed gold. The only thing I changed (or adapted I guess is the right term??) was that I used fleur de Sel instead of my regular Kosher salt because I thought the Kosher might be a little too coarse. I also mixed the egg yolks in last instead of before the flour like I should have because like a dope, I almost forgot to put them in all together. I got so excited about having all my ingredients pre-portioned and then I was about ready to take the dough out of the Kitchenaid when I looked over on the other counter and saw the egg yolks screaming “Don’t forget me, you dumbass!” I had thought the dough looked a little dry…
Meyer Lemon Sables
(very slightly adapted from Shauna Sever’s version of Dorie Greenspan’s recipe…I think I did that right)
2 sticks of unsalted butter (8oz) room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 powdered sugar
1/2 tsp of salt or fleur de Sel
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks (keep one separate from his fellows)
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
Mix together the two sugars in a small bowl, then add the lemon zest and work with your fingers until everything is evenly mixed and the sugars are nice and fragrant and lemon-y. Put the flour in a small bowl with the salt and mix well.
Beat the butter in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment until it’s nice and creamy. Then add in the sugar mixture and beat until everything is incorporated, but not so long that it gets fluffy. Then add in 2 egg yolks one at a time, saving the third egg yolk for later. Turn the mixer on low and add in the flour, mixing only until everything comes together.
Take the dough out of the mixer and divide it in half. Work each half into a log of about 10″ or so and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours.
When you’re ready to bake your sables, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get that third egg yolk out of retirement and give it a little whisk, then grab some sugar and put it in a shallow bowl. You could use regular old white sugar, but I had some white sparkling sugar leftover from Christmas cookies, so I used that. Martha is always saying “sanding sugar” and I’ve not been able to locate any of that, but if you can, you could always use that too. Take your sable rolls out of the fridge and use a pastry brush to cover them in the egg yolk. Then roll them in whichever sugar you’ve got and slice them into rounds. I got about 24 out of each log. Dorie says she likes them a little thicker though, so depending on your taste, you might get a few more or less. Lay the rounds on 2 parchment covered baking sheets and bake for 17 – 20 minutes depending on your oven. Mine were ready and raring to go right at 17 minutes, but I think my oven might run a bit hot. I bought an oven thermometer today to investigate this further. Let them chill out in the pans for a minute or so, then transfer them to a cooling rack.
A quick googling of Meyer lemons did not actually give me much info other than the fact that they are originally from China and thought to be a hybrid of lemons and mandarins and that they’re named after the guy who brought them to America (thanks Frank Nicholas Meyer!) which while informative, is not really the info I was fishing for. I wanted Wikipedia to talk more about the flavor, but alas I’ll just have to say what I think which is that they have a much more delicate flavor than regular ol’ lemons. Less tart, more sweet, and I felt the smell of the zest wasn’t as strong as when I zest a normal lemon. As for eye-appeal, the Meyer lemon definitely has the oldish, hard lemons from the back of my fridge beat.
It’s hard to tell since I took this picture with my iPod (husband, please bring our regular camera back from work) but the skin on the Meyer lemon is very shiny and smooth and perfect looking, while the two lemons behind it are duller and more….nubbly I guess? Clearly, Meyer lemons are just prettier and more fun to play with when they’re available, sorry old lemons from my fridge. When I’m done with my love affair with the Meyers, I’ll come crawling back to you guaranteed. Tonight I use the whites I didn’t use last night to make another of Shauna’s recipes: Meyer Lemon Meringue Kisses!