Monday, January 4, 2016
We had a balmy, 70 F (21C) Christmas day, but winter was not far away. On Tuesday we got the remnants of Goliath, which dropped an inch or two of snow and then turned into sleet and freezing rain. With a name like Goliath, is that all you got? Our first storm last year dumped 5 feet/1.5 m.. of snow. Best of all, we got an heating oil truck up the driveway during the storm so I now have a full tank to start off the winter. We are now having some sunny weather and my Meyer lemon tree is enjoying the light reflected off the snow/ice on the deck. The tree spends summer days on the deck and gets yanked inside before really cold nights begin. Note there are five lemons on the tree, which has been a fantastic producer given its small size. It is the holidays and time to use a few of the lemons, which are my Harvest Monday crop.
We picked two of the lemons, which are a little smaller than the first few lemons off the tree but produced almost half a cup of juice. The recipe we used is my mother’s, saved by my sister, Sharon. We used a little less sugar with the Meyer lemon juice because the juice is sweeter than regular lemons, about a cup. The recipe is included below and I apologize it is in American measure. I am not adept at converting recipes.
Lemon Meringue Pie
1 ½ c. sugar (less for Meyer lemons)
3 Tbsp. corn starch
3 Tbsp. flour
1 ½ c. hot water
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 9 inch baked pie shell
1 recipe meringue
1. In saucepan, combine sugar with corn starch and flour; then stir in hot water gradually. Bring to boil stirring constantly to make a smooth mixture.
2. Add salt and continue cooking for 8 minutes stirring occasionally until thick.
3. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture slowly into egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return to pan and cook 4 minutes longer. Add butter and lemon zest; stir until melted. Slowly add in lemon juice. Cool the mixture.
4. Pour into pastry shell. Cover with meringue, and bake in 325º F. oven until delicately browned, about 12-15 minutes.
3 egg whites
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
Beat egg whites and lemon juice until stiff. Add sugar gradually (1 Tbsp. at a time), beating constantly until soft peaks form. Pile lightly on pie filling, sealing meringue to edges of pie crust.
It is the New Year and it is totally fitting that we start it off with all our/my plans completely blown up. The lemon pie was supposed to be dessert served with our New Years Day dinner but I forgot to make it. So we had it Saturday after the Osso Bucco that was supposed to be our New Years Eve dinner. That got put off while we stuffed our faces with the excess of appetizers I procured for New Years Eve (not to mention the Champagne). Oh well, hopefully my garden planning goes better. Most of the seed catalogs are in and nothing better than to start planning the new gardening year.
That is my modest harvest this new year. Hope your year starts off wonderful. I do seasonal tax preparation and my season starts Monday, so my blog posts will become less frequent as I start my 75-hour a week work schedule. To see what other gardeners are doing, check out Harvest Monday at From Seed to Table, our host for Harvest Monday during January.