ahhhh....lemons!!! love the way they smell, taste, look. holding one is like holding a little ball of sunshine and, to me, that's what they add to whatever you use them for - brightness! i'm no horticulturist but i'm sure there are several varieties out there, all with their different sizes and scents and colors but my absolute favorite has to be the meyer lemon. hands down. actually a cross between a lemon and possibly an orange or a mandarin, it was named for Frank N. Meyer who first discovered it in China in 1908 (thank you, wikipedia). it's flavor is mellow in that it's not as bitingly tart as other lemons i've tried and it lends a distinctive, pleasant flavor to lots of dishes. and the smell....it's like lemon blossoms!!!
there's someone who lives around the corner from us who must have a tree of these little beauties because they often leave a large tub of 'freebies' out front and more than once we've come home with our shirts used as baskets and filled with a few handfuls which is how i ended up with a bowlful of them and looking for ways to use them.
first thing that came to mind...lemon curd. love it! and it's glorious in desserts, with fruit, on toast, on a spoon. i found this recipe via pinterest which actually originated from ina garten and i loved it. not only is it delicious but it's probably the easiest lemon curd i've ever made. quick too.
and it makes the lovliest ice cream sandwiches! seriously, you won't believe how good these are. i used vanilla coconut ice cream (the best tasting ice cream if you're dairy free) and the waffle butter cookies from trader's.
i also wanted to make candied lemon peel and lemon sugar so before i juiced the lemons i made sure to remove the peels.
i love having the candied peel and sugar on hand too. makes me feel like my pantry is fancied up and they're perfect 'go to's' when you want to had something special to a butter cookie, chutney or even to rim a glass for a fun cocktail. enjoy!