Karen Gordon: Sweet, seasonal Meyer lemon treats

Meyer lemons are sweeter and less tangy than regular lemons and have a more complex, herbaceous flavour.

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If you’ve never tried Meyer lemons, now is the perfect time to try this unique citrus fruit since it’s currently in season.

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The Meyer lemon is a hybrid fruit with lemon and orange parentage and is native to China. It is smaller and rounder than a regular lemon, with a smooth, thin outer peel. Unlike the bright yellow shade of a regular lemon, the skin of a Meyer lemon is a bright orangey-yellow.

As far as taste goes, Meyer lemons are sweeter and less tangy than regular lemons. The Meyer lemon also has a more complex, herbaceous flavour that’s reminiscent of a spicy bergamot. While regular lemons are available year-round, Meyer lemons are only available from November to May. They are normally sold pre-packaged in bags and are available at specialty produce stores.

Here are two easy and delicious recipes showcasing the Meyer lemon. In a pinch, you may substitute regular lemons for Meyer lemons, however, note that the lemon flavour will be a little sharper and the taste, a little more tart. If using regular lemons, it’s best to adjust the sugar accordingly.

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And to get the mellower flavour of Meyer lemons, a little orange juice can help round out the flavour. However, Meyer lemons are so unique that I highly recommended them particularly if you’ve never tried them before!

Warm Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake

Here’s one of my favourite desserts growing up. My mom used to make this with regular lemons, but I much prefer it made with the more delicate flavour of Meyer lemons. This dessert is a cross between a pudding and a cake. As it bakes, the cake and pudding separates creating an upper cake layer with a pudding layer on the bottom. I like baking this in a casserole dish and serving it family style, but it can also be baked individually in ramekins; the baking time is about the same. Serve this old-school dessert with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and fresh berries, like blueberries, raspberries or even cut up strawberries. It’s also delicious served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a generous dollop of whipped cream.

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3 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

1 cup (200g) sugar, divided into ¼ cup and ¾ cup

2 tbsp (30g) butter, melted and cooled

zest of 2 Meyer lemons

juice of 2 Meyer lemons

6 tbsp (50g) all-purpose flour

1 cup (240ml) milk

confectioners’ sugar for dusting

fresh blueberries for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease a 6-cup casserole dish and set aside until needed.

While the pudding cake batter is being prepared, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Using a stand mixer outfitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites on high speed until foamy. Gradually add the ¼ cup of sugar, whisking in between until the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks. Transfer egg whites to a grease-free bowl and set aside.

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Using the same stand mixer bowl, but now outfitted with a paddle attachment, add the remaining sugar, melted butter, egg yolks, Meyer lemon juice and zest. Beat on medium speed until mixture is light and creamy.

Add the flour and milk. Continue beating on low speed until combined.

Add the egg white mixture to the lemon batter. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter. Do not overmix.

Pour batter into prepared casserole dish then place casserole into a 13×9 inch baking pan.

Transfer baking pan into the oven. Add a 1/2-inch depth of boiling water to the baking pan.

Bake for 45 minutes until the top of the pudding cake is golden.

Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly before dusting the cake with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm with berries and ice-cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

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Serves 6

The delicate and herbaceous flavour of Meyer lemons and the crunch of poppyseeds pair beautifully in this lemon poppyseed cake.
The delicate and herbaceous flavour of Meyer lemons and the crunch of poppyseeds pair beautifully in this lemon poppyseed cake. Photo by Karen Gordon /PNG

Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

The delicate and herbaceous flavour of Meyer lemons and the crunch of poppyseeds pair beautifully in this lemon poppyseed cake. Like a pound cake, this dessert is dense yet moist. Olive oil instead of butter makes this cake extra tender and loftier. The oil also helps the cake stay moist for days. The fruitiness of the oil lends itself well to the Meyer lemon as it enhances its herbaceous flavour.


1-3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour

zest of 3 Meyers lemons

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk

3 tbsp (45ml) freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup (160ml) olive oil

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2 tbsp poppyseeds

Lemon Glaze

6 tsp (30ml) fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice

1 cup (130g) confectioners’ sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease an 8-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper so that the parchment overhangs the long sides of the pan by at least 4 inches per side.

In a medium size bowl, using your fingers, rub together the lemon zest and sugar until well combined. Add buttermilk, lemon juice and eggs. Whisk well.

In another bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stir well to combine. Then add oil and poppyseeds. Stir mixture well.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes until a toothpick test comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 20 to 30 minutes.

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To remove, use the parchment overhang as handles and lift the cake out of the pan. Place the cake on a baking rack to finish cooling. Place a baking sheet under the baking rack before glazing.

To make glaze, whisk together lemon juice, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar until combined. Using a spoon, drizzle glaze over the entire top surface of the cake, letting the glaze run down the sides. Sprinkle with extra poppyseeds. Allow icing to dry before slicing. Enjoy.

Makes one loaf cake

Karen Gordon is a food blogger from North Vancouver who shares her recipe creations online at karentology.com and on Instagram at @karen.t.ology

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Source: vancouversun.com