When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? Or lemon pie, lemon bars, lemon vinaigrette. And so on.
That’s exactly what I did, years and years ago, when one of Ed’s business associates moved to California and mentioned the lemon trees in his backyard. He had so many lemons that he wanted to send us a box.
They were the strangest looking lemons I’d ever seen. Thin-skinned and vaguely orange. They also tasted sweeter than the standard, in fact, they tasted almost as if it were some kind of lemon mixed with an orange.
This was in the pre-Google search era. No one I knew had ever heard of a Meyer lemon.
In fact, Meyer lemons, which seem so familiar now, popped into popularity only about a decade ago. And when they started appearing in supermarkets during the winter I realized what I had in that box all those years before.
I had used those lemons in all the recipes I cooked that called for lemon juice and peel. It worked, though not perfectly. Meyer lemons are sweeter and they don’t have the tang and pop of a standard lemon, so they’re not ideal for recipes that need a lemony acidity.
On the other hand, because the flesh is sweeter than the more usual lemon, Meyer lemons are perfect for cookies and quick breads. I also slice them and use it as a bed for roasted fish. I make Meyer Lemon Chutney.
And this fabulous, rich, sweet and mildly tangy Meyer Lemon Yogurt Pie.
Meyer Lemon Yogurt Pie
1 fully baked pie crust or Graham Cracker crust
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold water
1/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons freshly grated Meyer lemon peel
1 cup plain Greek style yogurt
Bake the crust or set it aside. Or, make a graham cracker crust (or use a store bought crust).* Combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cold water and Meyer lemon juice in a saucepan. Add the eggs and blend them in thoroughly using a whisk. Gradually add the boiling water and whisk the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and Meyer lemon peel. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. Add the yogurt and whisk it in. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and chill in the refrigerator until cold, about 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and serve.
Makes one 9-inch pie
*to make a graham cracker crust: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Mix until all the crumbs are coated. Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.