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.
Lemon meringue pie is always a big hit in our house, but I'm partial to a nice, tart lemon slice too. With lemons, the tarter the better I say!ReplyDelete
Lemon curd is the way to go in my book. My husband could just eat it out of the jar. I love all things lemon and I agree the tartier the better. Lemon tart or lemon meringue pie i'm sure would also go down well. I'm not sure i'd, or any of my neighbours for that matter, be able to successfully grow a lemon tree in our north western scottish climate...ReplyDelete
My friend has a lemon tree dripping with lemons at the moment...I got a bag the other week and made lemon butter for the first time (YUM) and I plan on popping by today to get some more. A couple of our children and my hubby eat lemons like oranges but I love to use them in ice cream/cheese cake/lemon cordial/baking...actually it's uses are endless :)ReplyDelete
Lemons are such a hit or miss crop for the backyard, aren't they! Some people seem to have the best luck for what appears to be virtually no effort at all *sigh*. A greenhouse would help enormously though.ReplyDelete
Our Lisbon sulked for 2 years in a pot before I finally wisened up and put it in the ground. It hung on over the first summer and now, it's approaching it's second summer has 2 handsome looking yellow offerings, yay!
I can't wait for the day when we have enough lemons to make bottles of lemon cordial to line the pantry shelves with. In the meantime, it's curd and lemon delicious pudding from Stephanie Alexander. Would love to know what recipe you used for the lemon meringue pie? I'm always on the lookout for a good one of these. :)
we have like this bush lemon tree happening in our back yard. it was there when we moved in 5 years ago and still blooming to this day. we often have so many lemons the lady next door takes a bunch and makes jars of lemon butter. it is so very good. i love lemons in baking. peter has a habit of eating them like an orange. i must say they are very nice though. i love your pie!! one of my favourites. :)ReplyDelete
Seems strange that people have trouble growing lemons! In these parts (Adelaide) they are the easiest of all fruit trees to grow. Just plonk one in anywhere (nature strip included) and leave it to its own devices and soon you will have a tree full of lemons.ReplyDelete
Lemons are one of those fruits I never really appreciated fully until we had a tree growing in our backyard. They are so versatile. Now we are living on acreage, we have planted a few, but are waiting for our crops to come to fruition! In the meantime, I usually use them for seafood, lots of lemon slices and cakes, and especially lemon cordial for summer time. Not only are they useful, I think they look pretty when covered in fruit.ReplyDelete
I recently got a bag full of lemons too, and made lemon butter and lemon biscuits. I wished to make a pie or cake, but I am the only one in a household of four adults who would eat either. And even though I'm pregnant and could easily eat a whole lemon meringue pie along, I thought I probably shouldn't. The lemons have been coming in handy with honey and hot water though for this cough that I can't seem to shake.ReplyDelete
That pie looks wonderful! I have a great recipe for lemon poppyseed cake that is a family favourite. I imagine that's what they were eating in Enid Blyton-type books when they would say they had 'seed cake'. We have a poor little lemon tree that has stayed the same size for about five years, no fruit :(ReplyDelete
That's just made my tummy rumble! It looks delicious :)ReplyDelete
lemon meringue is always a winner! Our richest indulgence is to make lemon curd ice-cream, a batch of curd stirred into a proper custard ice-cream base and churned.ReplyDelete
lemon tart or cupcakes are up there too!
We make lemon cordial from Sally Wise's book - A year in a bottle. It's the best recipe I've tried (and there has been quite a few!) and we will never go back to the shop bought cordial!ReplyDelete
It's a great way to use up lemons from those lucky people who can grown them. Our tree is still too little bear fruit so we have generous neighbours and friends who always donate excess harvest to us.
Hi Tania. I'm sure this will get the prize for the stupidist question - but never-the-less here I go...what pen do you use for writing on the jars? I hate labellling with dymo etc. and that looks great! Ta and sorry. AlisonReplyDelete
Hi Alison, no it's not a stupid question! I use a Uni paint white marker from the newsagents or office supplies store. Later you can scrub it off with steel wool if you need to.ReplyDelete
Now how have I not jumped over here before! I've seen your name around but now I'm here I may not ever go.ReplyDelete
Lemon meringue pie, crafting, tree change, kiddo's, making, baking, creating and op shopping...it doesn't get better than that :-)