kitchen tips: saving meyer lemons.

i'm so excited for today. i have been wanting to get this together for a while and now i am doing it!
from growing up in an extremely foodie family, learning from cooking for my own family, to owning our own bakery cafe and also from my relationship with my dvr & the food network; i have gathered a whole host of cooking and baking tips & tricks that i am so excited to share with you!

every week {finger's crossed!} i will let you in on a secret that i have learned from here and there and HOPEFULLY this will help you become more confident in the kitchen, more confident in yourself and it will also help you save money from your grocery budget {you won't be throwing so much out!}.

so there...that's my mission statement. more confidence, less waste!

first thing up....meyer lemons. the royalty of lemons.

i had heard of these before and heard all the comments on how they are the king of all kings of lemons but could never bring myself to shell out the $3 per lemon to discover their taste {the same goes for san marziano tomatoes...have yet to pay $4.70 a can to try those...maybe one day.}

okay back to my lemons.
as luck would have it i was strolling the aisle of costco a while ago, braving the elements, when my eyes landed on a sign and i couldn't believe my eyes.
$7.99 for a whole container? 12ish meyer lemons for $7.99? ummm...yes please.

as i was not going to use them right away i put them in my lovely green bowl, set them on the buffet and admired them. their glossy slightly orange colour, their scent and the feel of spring time they brought to our winter home. but like every good thing they started to fade.
i had to get them working for me before i had to toss them.

here's the tip: deconstruct them and freeze them.

this tip is from my bakery days. for our place we really wanted everything to have real ingredients.
no fillers. NO shortening. no artificial.
real butter. real fruit. real ingredients.
to achieve these you have to have man-power. and with man power comes payroll and with payroll comes more money out and sometimes that doesn't always match the money coming in.
could i really employ someone just to stand there and zest a whole box full of lemons? no.
but guess what i found from my supplier - frozen lemon zest! THEY employed someone to stand there and zest lemons! and it works beautifully!

so here's what you do:
when you feel your lemons are on their way out, set up an assembly line.
first station: zest your lemons. i like to use a rasp for this. once you have zested all your lemons place the zest in a tupperware container and freeze. voila! just pull out how much you need when you need it - let in sit counter side for about 20 minutes to warm it up a little {or use your judgement - remember in your kitchen YOU are the boss!}

second station: juice your lemons. cut your lemon in half and juice - either by hand or with a citrus juicer. once you have juiced all your lemons pour the juice into empty ice cube trays. freeze, transfer to ziplock bags and now you have meyer lemon juice at your finger tips for all your cooking needs.

so there you go - my first tip from what will hopefully be a very successful and well received new series here on the blog!
happy baking/cooking!

here are my recipes in which i use lemons: meyer lemon bars, lemon blueberry cake and sour-lemon scones.


Alycia said...

Thank you for starting this series! I think it is a wonderful idea, and I look forward to learning your tips and tricks :)

Jen said...

thanks alycia. i'm so excited for this. i find myself cataloging everything i am doing!! haha. thanks for reading.