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What are Meyer lemons?

Why Meyer lemons are on menus, what they taste like, where you can find them, and one of our favourite ever lemon recipes.

Chefs in the UK love Meyer lemons and you’ll see them on many menus. So what’s their secret? They look like other lemons with smooth yellow skins, but once you cut them open you can see and smell the difference. 

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As a hybrid lemon-mandarin fruit, they are sweeter, less acidic and more fragrant than the Sicilian or Eureka lemons we’re used to. As they ripen they will turn gold rather than ‘lemon’ yellow and they have a relatively thin skin. If a heavy dose of acidity is what you’re after, then Meyer lemons won’t deliver it; but they make beautiful lemon curd and lemon tarts, and will add extra fragrance to a G&T.

The only draw back is that despite being common in America and Australia, they are almost impossible to find here. Tesco sometimes have them in their ‘Finest’ range, but your best bet would be to buy a tree and grow your own.

Whether you can track down Meyer lemons or not, this lemon pudding is a joy. And an olive favourite.

LEMON SELF-SAUCING PUDDING

1 hour, serves 4, easy

butter 50g

golden caster sugar 200g

lemon 1, zested

lemon juice 100ml (include the juice from the zested lemon)

eggs 3, separated

plain flour 50g, sifted

milk 250ml

vanilla extract 1 tsp

icing sugar for dusting

double pouring cream to serve

Step 1

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Whizz the butter, sugar and lemon zest until they are pale and creamy in a food processor. Add the lemon juice, yolks, flour, milk and vanilla one by one until you have a smooth batter. Whisk the egg whites until firm but not stiff, and fold the mixtures together.

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Step 2

Pour into a buttered ovenproof soufflé or baking dish and put it in a baking tray half filled with hot water. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is lightly browned and set and there is a gooey lemon curd below. Serve hot with or without cream.