Growing a lemon tree can be likened to the the holy grail of fruit trees in our region. If you talk to the locals most have attempted to grow one and failed. We have our own "unsuccess" story too. Our healthy little Meyer Lemon was victim of a November frost followed by a thirty degree day last year. I literally cried. We might attempt it again in a few years time when the other trees create a little more protection. Or when we put in a tall greenhouse (okay, maybe I'm dreaming here). We have no conveniences such as north facing walls here.
One of our local mums here has grown her lemon tree successfully in her (huge!) greenhouse for the past 6 years. It was full of fruit and of course I was only too happy to take a bag home.
I like to think I got the most out of those lemons. Lemon marmalade from A Year in a Bottle, Lemon Curd from Nigella's book, and eventually a lemon meringue pie. Though I did have an unfortunate pie incident with the beautiful fluffy meringue sliding off onto the oven top when I realised how hot the pie plate was from blind baking the base. Though rescued it lacked the impressiveness that it had originally. No more last minute baking for me just before picking the kids up. Of the complicated kind anyway.
What do you like to do with gifted (or your own if you are lucky enough!) lemons?
*Edit : for those wondering here is how I made the lemon meringue pie:-
I made a rich sweet shortcrust pastry with 3 egg yolks, 3 oz each of butter and sugar and 6oz flour rubbed together. After baking blind for about 10 minutes I added a layer of lemon curd topped with meringue (I used about 7 egg whites with a generous amount of sugar, beaten until stiff peaks) then back in the oven until coloured on top.