Meyer lemon tree needed harvesting: 3-4 dozen, then put in veggie drawer + forgot. How to use now?

They're not discolored or furry, but are softened (dehydration?) For what/how can I use these now?

CA Lonergan


Nancy August 30, 2015
For making marmalade with Meyer lemons, yes all-Meyer recipes are good.
But/and I've had good results and interesting flavors using a variety of citrus in a recipe for 3-fruit marmalade. That's usually lemon, orange & grapefruit. But use whatever is in your market or CSA box...citron, Buddha's hand, etc.
amysarah August 29, 2015
I am apparently very susceptible to suggestion. I just impulsively picked up a 4 lb box of big, juicy Meyer lemons at Costco. About to embark on my maiden canning attempt, making marmalade. If you hear about anyone dying from a marmalade related incident, we never had this conversation.
Susan W. August 29, 2015
Lol. Me too, but you are way more industrious than I am. After not seeing Meyer lemons for a while in Portland, I spotted some (photo of the costly gems above) and made preserved lemons. I'm thinking how fun it would be to make some marmalade. I'm visiting my mom in San Diego in a few weeks. What a fun gift that would be.
henandchicks August 28, 2015
I agree with several respondents, juice, zest, taste, then proceed. If the juice is at all spoiled, toss it. If not, freeze it. I occasionally will find a cut and saved lemon to become a bit bitter, but this can be used to advantage in some applications- salad dressings, etc. If your juice is not spoiled (no mold or slime on fruit), then use your judgment on where the taste is best used. I will add, zesting soft lemons is a pain in the...
I might also add, is it possible that you are doing what I often do? In an effort to use up something nice, but past its prime, or not really my favorite (a bushel of organic okra, say) I will rack my mind, spend more money and time than the item may be worth, and have in the end a boatload of something just okay, in this case not-quite-great lemon juice, or a pile of okra pickles (I hate okra). I hate food waste, and will always look for a use, but the way to make lemonade from this situation might be to toss the fruit.
Meaghan F. August 26, 2015
Meyer lemon marmalade - I made this recipe ( this spring, it turned out great. I used it for lemon tarts for a bridal shower, but had a little left over and found it worked great in quite a few savory applications as well.
Smaug August 26, 2015
There's a very simple recipe on that I made a few times with good results; I don't do links, but it was from Gourmet/ Dec.1999, shouldn't be hard to find. It suggests saving the seeds for pectin, but I've found that there is plenty without them.
Susan W. August 29, 2015
Meaghan, do you not need to water process marmalade? I'm not a canner. I may give this a go.
amysarah August 29, 2015
Coincidentally, this is the same recipe I'm planning to use - because it's so simple and I figured I'd start easy. It just has you sterilize the jars in the oven and do the lids in boiling water, no water bath.
Susan W. August 29, 2015
Okay, I'm going for it. Last question. I'd rather not buy a candy thermometer. Can I just use my rather old, but well calibrated instant read thermometer? Just say yes.
amysarah August 29, 2015
Me answering is a bit blind leading the blind, but I can say that I'm not buying a candy thermometer either, just using my instant-read.
Greenstuff August 24, 2015
For lemons in general, says they keep one week in the pantry, 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator, and 3-4 months in the freezer. My experience with home grown is completely different. At my house, they take months and months to ripen on the tree, I let them sit for weeks on the counter, and then I move them into the refrigerator for some more months and months. I never get to the freezer, as I'd end up with a freezer-full of old lemons. I haven't used Meyers or Eurekas for limoncello, as there are better varieties. The Meyers don't keep as well as the Eurekas, and it sounds like yours are way past their prime, and yours don't sound like the best of candidates for much of anything. Have you tasted them? When a lemon gets beyond soft, headed to mushy, it may be time to compost.
Susan W. August 24, 2015
Greensburg, I just bought some gorgeous Meyer lemons for preserved lemons. They're gorgeous. Can you tell me why you wouldn't use them for Limoncello? I was thinking of buying a bunch and making it for Christmas presents along with my homemade vanilla. Apparently, this Christmas will be vodka-centric. Hopefully you can see the color on these babies.

Greenstuff August 24, 2015
The lemons traditionally used for limoncello in Italy are noted for their especially fragrant peels. Meyers are much milder. That said, I was just looking at my drawerful of lemons in the refrigerator and the bottle of Everclear on my shelf and thought, "What do I have to lose?" It could be tomorrow's project. (And yes, the color comes through on your photo--pretty gorgeous.)
amysarah August 24, 2015
Sounds like these lemons are probably past their prime and usage...but I've seen Meyer lemons recommended for Limoncello a few times (as is mentioned in the article I linked above.) Can't vouch for it, as I've only ever used regular lemons myself.
Susan W. August 24, 2015
That makes sense. We have incredible produce in Oregon, but not a lot of choices in citrus. Most of it comes from California. I'll have to see what's available at the farmer's market. I have my exerciser at the ready.
Susan W. August 24, 2015
That makes sense. We have incredible produce in Oregon, but not a lot of choices in citrus. Most of it comes from California. I'll have to see what's available at the farmer's market. I have my everclear at the ready.

Greensburg? Gotta love predictive text..almost always.
Diana B. August 24, 2015
I might not be too late to make preserved lemon with them, since those get soft and mushy in the preserving process anyway.
Smaug August 23, 2015
Possibly "You'll remember next time" is the answer- if they've gotten to the point of off flavor, maybe it's time to let go. Meyers are astoundingly productive, even tiny trees, and can be pretty hard to keep up with.
CA L. August 23, 2015
Thank you, all Answerers; but note, these lemons are now soft, headed to mushy. I need solutions that will accommodate the changed flavor profile of these neglected citrus fruits... (I think?) (Maybe booze - Limoncello - IS the answer? >;-)
Susan W. August 23, 2015
The kind of mush that produces no juice? You should taste the peels because they may have lost their flavor. If there's no flavor, the Limoncello won't be awesome. There's no way for us to know what they taste like without a description. They may be best donated to the compost pile that you hopefully have going.
cookbookchick August 23, 2015
And here is the recipe (Amada's!) I've used for years to make a delicious Meyer lemon tart:
cookbookchick August 23, 2015
Here are some ideas, 100 of them in fact:
Susan W. August 23, 2015
I just read the 3-4 dozen part. Maybe freeze in larger containers. Lemon curd and preserved lemons are a good way to use up lots of lemons. Lemon meringue pie too.
Nancy August 24, 2015
Yes to all these ideas.
Susan W. August 23, 2015
Yep..dehydration. The fridge is not a great place for citrus. The good news is that they didn't mold. I'd zest them, juice them and freeze both in ice cube trays. Or..send them ASAP to me since Portland seems to be having a hard time finding Meyer lemons.
amysarah August 23, 2015
If you juice them to freeze, make lemon curd or whatever, you can first use the peels to make homemade Limoncello. Very easy, and especially delicious with Meyer lemons.
Susan W. August 23, 2015
Awesome idea. What a great Christmas present this would make. I'll bet you could do the Alice Medrich version of simple syrup and just add the sugar right to the Limoncello so as not to dilute it.
702551 August 23, 2015
Juice & freeze would be the simplest way to handle these.
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