Lemon Love

Lemon Love

As the studio fills with lemon plates, platters, tumblers, and bakers it is hard not to think of my favorite lemon recipes. What could be more fun than filling a cake with lemon curd and serving it on a sunny lemon plate? Need to take a side to dinner? How about a lemon platter filled with potato salad sprinkled with fresh herbs and preserved lemons.

Lemon Curd

Treat yourself. This lemon curd works so many ways: as filling in birthday cakes (vanilla cake, lemon curd, fresh raspberries), smear on banana bread, swirl in plain yogurt, and my personal favorite… a bite heaped on a spoon right out of the fridge. I promise this one won’t last long after you make it. This recipe comes from a dear friend of my aunt, and it is the best I’ve had, hands down. It’s even better if the lemons are fresh off the tree but that is a difficult proposition in Colorado.

Polly’s Lemon Curd

1 stick of butter

2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed)

4 tsp lemon zest

2 large eggs

Melt the butter in a heavy pan over medium/low heat – add the remaining ingredients and stir constantly until smooth and thick. It takes about 12 minutes to cook. Let cool. Store in a covered container in the fridge and have a spoon on the ready for sneaking a bite of sunshine while you make breakfast- I won’t judge. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Lemon filling in cake


Preserved Lemons

These are the gift your future self needs- a jar of sunshine. These lemons develop a more lemony-salty-sour flavor that will add depth and brightness to any dish. You can use regular or meyer lemons- or make a batch with both kinds. The pickling only takes a few minutes to start but requires at least a month to develop the  flavor and soften the flesh. Preserved lemons will keep a year in the fridge.

Lemons- washed

Kosher salt

Sterilized wide mouth container with screw or wire bale lid- any size

Cut down the sides of the lemons  cutting almost all the way through into quarters, keep the stem and flower ends attached. Pro-tip– wear gloves, salt and lemon juice will find every cut and crack in your hands. Work over a bowl and gently squeeze the lemon open and pack salt into the cuts in each lemon. Tightly pack the salted lemons into a jar and pour more salt over the lemons as you fill the container. Cover the packed lemons with more lemon juice.

Store lemons in the refrigerator. Turn the container for the first few weeks to help the lemons on top get into the brine. The lemons will eventually be submerged in the brine and any lemons that don’t get covered in the first month can be pressed under the surface with a clean metal spoon.

To use: preserved lemons are usually rinsed before use and only the rind is typically used. If you are impatient, as I can be when there is something tasty to eat, you can use these (fruit, and rind) after about a month and you may not even need to rinse them. As they age, the lemons become translucent and the flesh just falls off the rind with little work.


Recipe ideas:

Potato Salad- the lazy way — boiled potatoes cooked in salted water until tender, mayonnaise, olive oil to drizzle, 1 diced preserved lemon rind, chopped herbs (parsley, chives, or a blend) and pepper. Slice potatoes and arrange on a platter (perhaps a lemon platter?) Smear the tops with some of the mayonnaise as you place the potatoes on the platter. Sprinkle with the preserved lemons and herbs. Give a good grind of pepper over top and drizzle with good olive oil. Serve!

Potato salad- the fancy way — Follow the recipe above for preparing potatoes and smearing with mayonnaise. Make topping:   1 bunch of parsley, chopped; 4 anchovy fillets chopped (optional but very good); rind of 1/2 preserved lemon, diced; 1-2 T capers; juice of 1/2 lemon. Combine toppings in a small bowl and spoon a little of this mixture over the potatoes on the platter. Season with pepper, taste for salt (the lemon rind and capers add quite a bit of salt). Serve!

Other uses– The lemons and/or the brine can be used in vinaigrettes. Add lemons to lentil or bean salads. Add  to stews and soups. Add lemon rind and herbs to goat cheese. Once you taste these flavor bombs I would love to hear what you add them to!



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let\'s keep in touch, sign up for the newsletter!