Tips for getting the most flavour - and juice - out of lemons
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Fresh lemon — including the juice and the peel — is one of my all-time
The great thing about lemon peel, also known as the zest, is that it adds intense lemon
Whichever parts you use, it's important to start with the best possible lemons. The winning candidates will boast a bright yellow
Once home with your lemons, scrub each one lightly under water to remove the edible wax with which it was covered to protect the fruit on its journey to the market. If your recipe calls for zest and juice, grate the zest before you juice the lemon. But don't grate the zest until just before you're ready to add it to the recipe. Zest quickly dries out and loses its oomph if it sits around for very long.
There are several ways to make sure you squeeze the maximum amount of juice from your lemon. First, soften up the fruit by rolling it on the counter and pressing down as you do. Second, heat it, either by microwaving it for 20 seconds or so or by stashing it in the oven at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Finally, cut the lemon in half crosswise and juice it.
I like to juice using an old-fashioned and brightly colored Mexican hand press. But there's also a more unorthodox, if equally effective, way to do it. Place the cut lemon half in between the two arms of a set of tongs, right at the top where the arms are joined. Then squeeze the bottom ends together. I learned this little trick from Ming Tsai, who picked it up from Jasper White, two of my
These muffins are quite rich, better suited to dessert than breakfast (though they would indeed be a delightful morning splurge on a special occasion). Made with juice and zest, their deep lemon
LEMON RASPBERRY POUND CAKE MUFFINS
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) cake flour (not self-rising)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
Heat the oven to 325 F. Line a cupcake tin with 8 paper cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Add half the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Beat in the cream and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Add the remaining flour mixture, beating just until combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them halfway. Press 4 raspberries gently into the
While the cupcakes are baking, make the glaze. In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and remaining lemon juice until smooth. When the cupcakes are cooled, drizzle the glaze over each cake.
Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories; 150 calories from fat (50
EDITOR'S NOTE: Sara Moulton is host of public television's "Sara's Weeknight Meals." She was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows, including "Cooking Live." Her latest cookbook is "Home Cooking 101."