Saturday, January 11, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Meyer Lemon Belgium Waffles

Today's guest blogger is a little dynamo and packs a wallop when it comes to community service. I first got to know Kathryn when we started working together on an AFBA Philanthropy event. She was a bucket of information when it came to client sponsorship and her help was invaluable as, along with my other committee volunteers, we were able to pull off a very successful event. It should be no surprise, however, as that expertise and sense of community service is also what has helped her as the co-founder and organizer behind the successful Austin Bakes bake sales - something I learned about first-hand working with her on the recent Austin Bakes for Austin event. She is also the current president of the AFBA and she works full time for Greenling. How she manages all of that and still writes the fabulous blog The Austin Gastronomist is beyond me, but she does, and she was so gracious to write this guest post for me. She did not even hesitate when I asked. As busy as she is, she still manages it all with grace and pure dedication and still finds time to cook, photograph and blog her favorite recipes. Her recipe below for Belgium Waffles just begs you take a weekend morning and turn it into a time to relax and enjoy the quiet around you.  I hope you enjoy her fresh twist on Belgium Waffles.

One of the best decisions I made last year was to give my boyfriend, David, a waffle iron for Christmas. The guy is an engineer and a natural born tinkerer, and the waffle iron has become his latest object of focus. Together since Christmas Day he and I have tried about a dozen waffle recipes, looking for the fluffiest batter, the crispiest edges, and the most buttery flavor. It's been a delicious experiment, to say the least. 

When my friend Kristina gifted us with a bunch of lemons from her renowned backyard tree, I immediately thought of our waffle experiment. The Meyers' sunny color makes them perfect for breakfast time. And the more I thought about it, the more I craved their sweet, tart flavor to helps balance the buttery richness of many waffle recipes we had tried. We used several waffle recipes as the inspiration for our own, including The Minimalist Baker's Lemon Blueberry Waffles, this basic waffle recipe from AllRecipes, and Cuisinart's recipe for Lemon Waffles, which came with our new waffle iron. 

To make the most of Kristina's gorgeous Meyer lemons, David and I included the zest and the juice in our waffle recipe. We preferred waffles without blueberries (too messy) and those with richness from butter instead of oil. Buttermilk made the batter too tart, so our recipe calls for plain milk. We also found that a little extra sugar helps complement the Meyers' sweetness, so we use a quarter cup of granulated sugar in the batter, and garnish with powdered sugar at the end. Of all the toppings we tried -- maple syrup, lemon syrup, blueberry compote-- I liked plain whipped cream the best.  I hope you enjoy these sunny lemon waffles as much as we do!

Meyer Lemon Waffles (yields 4 Belgian waffles)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice from 2 Meyer lemons, about 1/4 cup
Zest from 2 Meyer lemons, about 1 tablespoon
powdered sugar
whipped cream

Place a wire rack on a baking sheet, and preheat oven to 200° F. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Pour liquid ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture, and whisk together until just combined. Prepare waffles according to your waffle iron's instructions. (We use a scant cup of batter per waffle in our Belgian waffle maker, cooking 7-8 minutes until crispy at the edges.) Place cooked waffles on the prepared baking sheet in the warm oven until all waffles are finished. Plate each waffle and garnish with powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Kathryn Hutchinson

Friday, January 10, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Meyer Mule

I first met the talented writer behind the Mad Betty website not quite two years ago. In fact, when I met her, I was already following her blog but I did not know it was hers. I also found that I kept wanting to call her Betty instead of Kristin. Since then, we have become fast friends. I love that she reviews two of my favorite shows, Mad Men and Breaking Bad.  It never fails that her take on each episode is exactly how I saw it, but then, she'll pose a thought that I did not catch and I love that.  She is always bright and cheery and we always have great conversations when we get together.  Her blog is like reading a subscription magazine as it’s packed with posts on all kinds of cool topics, from movie reviews to restaurant openings to her own twist on holidays and the local food scene.  I am super-excited that she agreed to guest write for me. I’m a huge fan of Moscow Mules and now a bigger fan of Meyer Mules. Kristin proves that if you just take a simple recipe and exchange one flavor component, you can have a whole new explosion of possibilities. Her take on this traditional cocktail is just like her - savvy and sweet with a touch of spice.  Is it five o'clock yet?

Meyer Mule

The Moscow Mule never goes out of style. The classic cocktail is loved for its pleasant bite from spicy ginger beer and tart lime topped with a hefty dose of smooth vodka. It’s traditionally served icy cold in a copper cup that calls to mind romantic old Hollywood nights.

My twist on the original replaces the lime juice with Meyer lemon flavors that mellow out the acidity and leave a sweet finish. But the triple strength ginger brew is like a fierce kick in the pants from Stalin himself. The combination of rugged bite and elegant sophistication make it an ideal cocktail for gatherings of mixed company. Classy dames and motorcycle gangs alike will guzzle down these Meyer Mules.

Meyer Mule

Simmer the following ingredients in a small saucepan until well incorporated to make a lemony simple syrup:

1 cup water
½ cup sugar
Zest of one Meyer lemon

In a shaker of ice add:

2 oz high quality vodka
3 oz ginger beer
Juice of half a Meyer lemon
2 TB lemon simple syrup
2-3 mint leaves, gently crushed by hand

Stir ingredients until well chilled and strain into glass of ice. Garnish with additional lemon and mint.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Feta Dip

I met Suzanna back in 2010 when I was working on a very special blog post for restricted diets. I had reached out to the local food bloggers with the hope of starting a community project to help out some folks that were dealing with an unexpected health issue that required a very restrictive diet.  She was one of the first to respond. During that time we exchanged several e-mails and with each, our budding friendship grew. From that project alone,  I knew her heart was big and that she had a passion to give back to our community.  I quickly enlisted her to join my volunteer committee for AFBA Philanthropy events and we've been great friends ever since.

What I also need to mention is just how crazy popular she is here in Austin.  Her South Austin Foodie blog has a very large following and is growing every day. If you live in or around South Austin then you know that the food scene is really picking up, but I swear, if it were not for her dedication to trying all of these places out and constructively critiquing them,  I would not know that half of them even existed. She keeps us informed with her weekly bits and bites, letting us know who is closing and who is opening. Occasionally she will throw in some original recipes (which I love) and she always treats each restaurant with the upmost respect when she decides to a post on them. She is highly respected and has been rewarded for such.  She is now in charge of rallying the volunteers over at the AFBA (no surprise) and she continues to stay up on all the media openings. One of the reasons I asked her to do a recipe for me was because the yummy lemon ginger scones that she made last year were the kind you dream about. Of course, I was not at all surprised that she used one of her many travels to create this delicious feta dip recipe.  Check out her site next time you can't figure out where to eat in Austin, or if y'all just want to know what's happening with the South Austin food scene.

I visited Morocco in 2008, and one of the things that sticks with me to this day are the vibrant colors throughout the country. From the souk merchants selling spices arranged in big piles, to the colorful ceramic tiles and dishware to the seemingly endless groves of olives and citrus -- color is everywhere! (And yes, both my pictures here feature ceramics I bought while in Morocco.)

Common throughout Morocco and North Africa are preserved lemons, which are simply made by putting lemons in salt, and letting them cure. Over time, the salt softens the rinds, which is the primary part used. With Meyer lemons, they are already a bit sweeter than typical lemons, so using them to make preserved lemons really makes for a nice flavor.

I was fortunate to receive Meyers from Girl Gone Grits last year and I found a jar of my preserved lemons in the fridge. For the 12 Days of Meyers, I thought a Moroccan-influenced recipe would be nice, and looked to my Moroccan cookbooks for inspiration. I’ve created a feta-based dip that can be easily tweaked for the flavors you wish to feature, and it also makes a great filling for a briouat, a phyllo-filled pastry which can be sweet or savory.

Use the dip as is with vegetable sticks and chips, as a spread on pita bread and then lightly toasted in the oven, stuff a chicken breast with it, or use as a sandwich spread.

Feta Cheese and Preserved Lemon Dip

8 ounces feta cheese (milder flavored or low sodium preferred), crumbled
3 medium cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons preserved Meyer lemons, roughly chopped (the rind, not the pulp)
⅓ – ½ cup Greek yogurt (I used non-fat) or low fat sour cream
1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon za’tar seasoning*
2 – 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Meyer lemon zest for garnishing

In a food processor, place the feta, garlic, and preserved lemons; pulse a few times to chop.

Add yogurt, Meyer lemon juice, za'tar, thyme and black pepper and puree until desired consistency is reached.

Taste for seasonings; add additional lemon juice or yogurt (or milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk, or even water) to thin out. It will seem quite salty at first!

When flavors are balanced to your liking, scrape into a bowl, garnish with lemon zest, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour so flavors can meld.

* Za’tar is a North African/Middle Eastern spice blend of dried oregano, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt. If you’re here in Austin, Central Market carries it in their bulk spice section; other specialty grocers or Middle Eastern stores will carry it. It adds a nice unique flavor to dishes.


Phyllo dough, defrosted according to package directions
Melted butter or cooking spray
Feta Cheese and Preserved Lemon Dip (use as is, or blend with some cooked spinach)

This is a pretty loosey-goosey recipe, as I improvised as I was making them; it may not be the best choice for novice cooks (sorry!) because phyllo can be difficult. Alternately, you can buy the premade phyllo mini–cups, which are a cinch to use!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lay a sheet of phyllo on a clean, flat surface. Spray lightly with cooking spray or brush with melted butter.
Lay another phyllo sheet directly on top, and spray again.
Cut from the long edge into 2 ½ - 3” strips.
At the bottom of a cut strip, place about a tablespoon of dip.
Triangle-fold the strip all the way to the top, making flag-shaped bundles.
Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining phyllo strips.
Lightly spray tops with cooking spray, and bake 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool on a rack; best eaten slightly warm.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Bread (Moosebread)

I started writing this blog back in the summer of 2009 and quickly learned that Austin had more than its fair share of food bloggers.  After a year of discovering and following many of these blogs, as well as writing my own, I thought it was time to meet some of these fellow Austinites. I had noticed on Twitter that Addie Broyles, the food editor for the Austin American Statesman, was hosting a food blogger social event during that year's SXSW festival. All the tickets had been swallowed up almost as quickly as they were made available. I just knew I needed to be there to meet more like-minded bloggers but I had missed out on getting a ticket. I sent her a private note on Twitter with a bribe. I told her that if she got me, a non-SXSW badge holder and new food blogger, a ticket into this event that not only would I be extremely grateful, but I'd also bring her a bottle of our homemade limoncello.  She quickly replied letting me know that she'd hold a ticket for me, not so much for the limoncello, but because that is the kind of person she is. She has a true passion for bringing people together, be it local farmers, bloggers, photographers, restauranteurs, small business food owners or people who just genuinely love to cook and eat.  She somehow keeps a wrangle on all of us and remembers each of us.

Our friendship has grown since that bribe of limoncello and beyond our mutual love of food. I've had the joy of getting to know Addie as a mother, feminist, wife, nurturer, lover of the outdoors, and fellow AFBA board member. Besides her paid gig at the Statesman, she writes several other blogs like Relish Austin, which covers the local food scene, her great personal blog The Feminist Kitchen, and in 2013 she spearheaded the AFBA Cookbook. She continues to be the voice and advocate for local food writers and our growing food community. I'm beyond pleased that she accepted my invitation to be a part of my Twelve Days of Meyers series. The recipe she is sharing below is typical of how she truly connects food with the heartfelt stories of the cook/baker. Enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of Addie Broyles

My family might be the only in America that eats something called “moosebread.” It’s a poppyseed loaf topped with a citrus glaze that my grandmother started making in the 1960s, at least the best that my mom can recall, but it wasn’t until about 20 years later that it earned its unique name and nuzzled its way into family history.

The name comes from my uncles, Curt and Chris, who at some point during their early adulthood adopted the word “moose” as kind of an inside joke.

Curt, the youngest in my notoriously short family, was a 6-foot-plus football player who also played the piccolo in the marching band. (“He was taller than anyone at your folks’ wedding, and he was only in the eighth grade,” my grandmother recalls.)

My uncle Chris, a musical prodigy who is the oldest of the trio of siblings, has probably never played a game of football in his life, but the brothers are notoriously squirrely when they get together.  At one point, they shared “the moose car” and invented a moose call that they’d sing out as a term of brotherly endearment, perhaps after a bout of roughhousing or charades gone wild.

By the time the first grandchild was born (me), Curt became “Uncle Moose.” As a kid, it made sense because he was so tall, but I’ve learned over the years that moose is a state of mind, not a physical condition.

Last week, I talked to both of them to get the story of moosebread, or “moose food,” as they call it, straight from the moose’s mouth.  “I was moose before moose was cool,” says Curt, a longtime employee of Bass Pro Shops who knows a thing or two about trends in lodge decor. As he remembers it, the bread got its name in January 1990, just a few weeks after my grandfather died after many years of illness.

“We had pre-planned this trip to San Diego (to visit Chris and his wife, Betsy) and weren’t sure if we should go with the timing of things,” he says, “but it ended up being a really wonderful time of being together after his passing and burial. It was a way of saying, ‘We’re going to look forward to being together again.’”

He remembers munching on a loaf of poppyseed bread that my grandmother had tucked away in her suitcase. (She has been known to schlep plastic-wrapped baked goods all over this country.) Devouring the bread, Curt remembers saying something along the lines of, “You know, this is moose food.” Chris realized that Curt hadn’t just made a passing comment; he’d added another layer to the moose tradition, which by then also included a moose dance, the goofiest prancing you’ve ever seen, which is usually performed on New Year’s Eve and accompanied by tissues sticking out of one’s nose and ears.

Yes, it’s wacky, but don’t dare call it trivial. I’ll let Betsy, a longtime principal in San Diego who has a Ph.D., explain: “It’s a way of acknowledging human fallibility,” she says. “It’s a free pass out of the corner.”

“You have to recognize this human propensity for less-than-ideal behavior,” says Chris, the only other member of our family with a doctorate degree. “When you give the moose call, it’s a way of saying, ‘I caught you being less than your best, and we’re going to celebrate it.’ It makes it possible to laugh at things you wouldn’t usually laugh at.”  

Ultimately, acknowledging your inner moose is about embracing your inner child. “We never really grow up,” Chris says. “We only learn how to behave in public.”

Photo Courtesy of Addie Broyles

Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Bread (Moosebread)

This poppyseed loaf, which half of our family calls moosebread and the other half calls moose food, is easily one of the most treasured treats in my grandmother’s recipe box. Her recipe calls for butter extract and oil instead of butter, which gives you an idea of when the recipe was likely developed in some unknown Midwestern kitchen, and to honor that legacy, I’ve kept them in this modified version.

The only real change in my version is swapping out orange juice in the glaze for Meyer lemon juice, one of my favorite ingredients this time of year, for my friend and fellow food blogger Kristina Wolter’s 12 Days of Meyer Lemon series on her blog, Girl Gone Grits. Wolter has what might be the largest, most productive Meyer lemon tree in Austin, which last year gave more than 1,000 lemons.

Between the lemons she gave me for this challenge and the lemons from my own small tree, I squeezed almost two quarts of juice and grated enough zest for a large batch of limoncello, the recipe for which you can find on her website. I also ended up making one loaf and a dozen poppyseed muffins from this batch of batter. I put too much batter in the loaf pan, which made the top crack, but it still tasted as good as I remember it.

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
2 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tsp. butter flavor
2 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
For the glaze
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1/2 vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine baking powder, flour, salt and poppy seeds. In another bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, milk, oil, extracts and zest. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and thoroughly combine. Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. Bake for about one hour until middle of the bread has set.

During the last 10 minutes of baking, make the glaze by heating the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes and then turn off heat.

Right after you remove the loaves from the oven, slowly pour glaze on top of each loaf. Once the loaves have cooled, remove from pan and wrap in plastic wrap. Serve slices of bread at room temperature or warmed slightly. Makes two loaves.

— Addie Broyles

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Meyer Ricotta Cheese Skillet Cake

I first met Elizabeth a couple years ago at the Tech Munch Conference here in Austin. We were sitting next to each other and I originally thought she was a model. Tall, gorgeous and owner of an amazing smile, I wanted to break the ice and introduce myself so I went to the complimentary snack table and loaded up on several pieces of Miles of Chocolate Brownies. When I sat back down, I offered her some and we have been friends ever since. It’s no surprise to me that Local Savour's following reaches far beyond just Austin. She has a passion and desire to take local, in-season ingredients and create easy and tasty dishes with them. Her success and reputation grows with each award she wins, e-books or videos she produces, or story she posts. To me, this recipe sums her up completely. It’s fresh, light, easy and beautiful. Enjoy!

When we first bought our current house, one of our good friends (that happens to have studied horticulture) gave us some great advice. "Plant fruit trees," she said, "It's the one regret that I have from when we bought our own house." Our friend eventually planted fruit trees in her yard but not until after they had lived there for over 10 years. "We could have been enjoying fresh fruit from our yard all of that time," she continued, "They are just now producing fruit." SO ... one of the first things we did was plant fruit trees in our new yard. We have only seen a few fruits develop over the last couple of years and I am eagerly waiting to see if this is THE year for our trees but for now we are lucky to know a few folks that are already enjoying the fruits of their labor (ha!) and are willing to share their delicious produce with us. One such friend is Kristina from Girl Gone Grits. Her backyard Meyer Lemon trees have been bearing a healthy amount of fruit for a few years and she has graciously shared a large basket of the sweet and tart yellow spheres along with her sinfully delicious Limoncello recipe.

What's a girl to do with copious amounts of lemons? Host a 12 Days of Meyer Lemon Recipe Event of course. Visit Girl Gone Grits for more amazing recipes with Meyer Lemons.

And in the meantime, I really can not think of a better way to ring in the new year than with a good slice of an easy-to-bake cake. Not everyone enjoys tasting lemon in their desserts but I have always adored a little zest in mine. The combination of tangy lemon blended with creamy ricotta cheese has long been one of my favorite blends when it comes to the classics and this warm Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Cheese Skillet Cake doesn't disappoint  –– it's going to be a great year.

Meyer Lemon and Ricotta Cheese Skillet Cake

  • 2 medium Meyer lemons - zest and juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 medium Meyer lemon zest & juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use one Tablespoon of butter to coat a heavy duty or cast-iron 10-12" pan and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and stir together well. Next, add milk, egg, ricotta cheese, lemon zest and juice, and remaining melted butter and continue to stir together well until the batter is formed.
  4. Pour batter into the buttered pan and then sprinkle with remaining Tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until outer edges are slightly golden and center is cooked through.
  5. Remove from the oven and make glaze.
  6. Add powdered sugar, lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and stir well until it becomes honey like in texture adding a touch more lemon juice if needed, 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Drizzle glaze over cake and serve

Monday, January 6, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Spicy Hummus

When the Austin Food Blogger Alliance was first created back in 2011, we had an open cocktail party to not only introduce this new group to the local food bloggers, but also to give the bloggers a chance to meet each other and to hopefully get them excited about joining this one-of-a-kind alliance. It was at this event that I first met Hilah.  She was standing at the bar and I was instantly drawn to her as I was already a fan/follower of her online cooking show.  I went over and introduced myself as I wanted to see if she was that same wicked-cool chick in person as she was on her show. I was very happy to learn that she was. Everything you see on her wildly popular show is exactly how she is when y'all are just hanging out with her.  Along with her producer and husband Christopher Sharpe, the couple have created a strong following for their show. As wildly popular as she is, I'm impressed that she has not let stardom go to her head as she is still grounded, funny and adorable, and all while cooking up a storm in her cool orange kitchen. Did I mention she was just voted #1 of the top 10 Austin Food Blogs by the Austin Chronicle?  I'm happy to be able to share her recipe here for yummy Meyer Hummus as today's guest blogger.  And if you have not had a chance to check out her site, please click on her link below for a fun cooking 101. Or go here for a list of her cookbooks to order.

Hummus was one of the very first video recipes I posted. It's a staple in my house because it's quick and cheap to make, it's high in fiber and relatively low in calories (at least the way I make it, it is) and is a wonderful snack with some celery sticks and even a decent stand-in for dinner when you're rushed or lazy or home alone with no one to judge you for eating hummus on crackers in your undies on the couch, sprinkling crumbs amongst the cushions as you yuk it up with the TV. In the years since publishing the original recipe, I've gotten innumerable comments to the effect of: I never knew hummus was so easy to make.

And that is how I wreak my vengeance upon manufacturers of over-priced, store-bought hummus!

I'm kidding, what kind of insane person would take personal offense to a hummus company?

For this spicy variation on hummus, I used plenty of sweet-tart Meyer lemon juice and cut down on the olive oil by, like, a whole lot. This makes it thrifty for the change purse and lower in fat and calories, duh, so maybe it will help out with those New Year resolutions, too. If you like the buttery texture of traditional hummus, feel free to add another 1/4 cup of olive oil to the mix. 

Harissa is a spicy condiment from North Africa made from ground dried red chiles, caraway, cumin, coriander, garlic, salt and enough olive oil to bind them together. It's divine. I happen to have a tube of it (pictured) that I got from World Market, but if you can't find it, it's very easy to make your own and it's delicious in this and as a rub for grilled meat or fish, or an addition to salad dressing (especially grain salads). If you've got a modern copy of The Joy of Cooking, there's a recipe in it that I use and is the best recipe I've tried for homemade harissa. 

Spicy Meyer Lemon Hummus

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 Meyer lemon (or 2 standard lemons)
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons harissa (or less for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (reduce or omit if using canned chickpeas)

Drain chickpeas (and rinse if using canned) and place in blender or food processor.
Zest the lemon to get 1/2 teaspoon zest and add that; juice the lemon to get 1/4 cup lemon juice and add that, straining the seeds out.
Add all other ingredients and pulse a few times to get started, then blend to a smooth puree. You may want or need to add some more water or olive oil for a thinner hummus.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a week.

Yield: about 2 cups

Check out more of Hilah below.

Find me on Youtube!

Check out my cookbook!

And sometimes I use Pinterest:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Ginger Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Honey Swirl

For Day 3 of my Twelve Days of Meyers, I'd like to introduce the lovely Mary Helen from Mary Makes Dinner.  This sweet gal was the person that first taught me how to make asian dumplings from scratch. I had no idea how easy it was to make them until I took her class. I've been hooked on those and everything else she creates in her kitchen ever since.  She makes vegetarian so doable. She crafts like a queen. She teaches cooking classes and is a local speaker - all of this on top of her day job.  And if that's not enough to make you feel tired, she's now embarking on mamahood.  Her sweet personality shines through in her smile and her beautiful food photos will leave you drooling.  I'm not at all surprised that she chose ice cream as her contribution to this series because she is continually creating ice cream flavors that go beyond the ordinary, such as her Smoked Chocolate.  If you get a chance, go follow her Facebook page to stay up to date with all her musings, and of course, enjoy this creamy sweet Meyer treat. 

Ginger & Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Honey Swirl

I love meyer lemons in desserts. Their mellow tartness and floral aroma have a wonderful way of tempering the richness of heavier ingredients like cream, custard, and butter. This makes them ideal for lemon bars, cream pies, and cake filling, but if you ask me, ice cream is where lemons really shine. Any trace of bitterness and acidity is softened in ice cream, allowing the sunny flavor and delicate aroma of meyer lemons to prevail. The result is a magical dessert that is somehow both light and indulgent.

The addition of ginger gives this ice cream a slightly spicy note, making it just a little bit more interesting than your everyday lemon ice cream, and the drizzled layers of honey provide a sweet, chewy surprise between bites. This aromatic custard can be devoured right from the pint, but I like it best when its packed into a crispy wafer cone. I suspect that it would also make an excellent topping for a simple baked dessert, like pound cake or angel food. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a Ginger Ice Cream Parfait by packing the ice cream between layers of lemon cake or angel food, crushed shortbread or gingersnaps, and fresh whipped cream.

This recipe involves making a special simple syrup infused with lemon and ginger. You’ll have plenty of syrup leftover. I recommend saving it in a jar in the fridge for future cocktails, marinades, and popsicles.

Ginger Meyer Syrup
Makes about one cup


  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup water the zest and juice of 
  • 2 meyer lemons 


  1. Combine the sugar, water, lemon zest, and ginger in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring the contents to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for ten minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. When the mixture has cooled, pour it through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Add the lemon juice, then mix well.
  6. The finished syrup should be kept covered and refrigerated.

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Honey Swirl
Makes about two pints


  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1⁄4 cups heavy cream 
  • 2⁄3 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
  • the peel from one lemon 
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and thin­sliced 
  • 1⁄2 cup Ginger Meyer Syrup 
  • 1⁄8 cup honey 


  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to form a slurry. Set aside. 
  2. Whisk the cream cheese and salt
  3. Combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, lemon peel, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 4 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. 
  5. Return the pot to the burner, and bring to a boil again. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about one minute, long enough for the mixture to thicken slightly. 
  6. Slowly whisk the hot custard with the cream cheese, making sure to melt the cheese into the mixture completely. 
  7. Shock the mixture to cool it as quickly as possible. You can do this by transferring the mixture to a large plastic bag or large mixing bowl and submerging it in an ice bath. 
  8. When the mixture cools to room temperature, transfer it to the refrigerator, and let it chill for about an hour. 
  9. Remove the lemon peel and ginger slices, then pour the mixture slowly into the ice cream machine while it is already running. After the mixture has all been poured in, add the Ginger Meyer syrup. Allow the mixture to churn for 20 ­ 40 minutes, or until it firms up and starts pulling away from the sides of the tumbler. 
  10. When the ice cream is finished churning, transfer it to freezer containers one scoop at a time. Drizzle thin stripes of honey in between the layers using a squirt bottle. 10. Freeze the packed ice cream for several hours before scooping. 

Mary Helen is a blogger and culinary instructor from Austin, Texas. You can find more of her recipes on her food blog, Mary Makes Dinner.