Winter is officially upon us. It is by far my LEAST favorite time of year, but winter does bring one thing worth looking forward to, and that’s bright and juicy citrus. From blood oranges, Kaffir limes, and kumquats to the less exotic Eureka lemons and navel oranges, there’s a fruit to suit everyone’s citrus fancy. I particularly love Meyer lemons, the Eureka’s slightly sweeter, more fragrant cousin, which is actually a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange.
A Meyer lemon tree at Sunset.
In our one-block garden, we’ve recently planted a couple of small Meyer lemon trees. On a cold day this winter, one of them happened to have a few particularly beautiful lemons on it. I decided to whip up a super-simple yet oh-so-comforting rice pudding using some of the perfect yellow orbs.
Meyer lemon rice pudding
Finely shredded zest of 2 Meyer lemons
About 5 cups whole milk
1 cup sushi rice, such as Nishiki
About 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
Curls of Meyer lemon zest, for garnish (use a 5-holed zester)
1. Bring zest, 5 cups milk, the rice, and the sugar to a simmer over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until rice is very tender, about 30 minutes (add more milk if it starts to get too thick). Stir in a few pinches of kosher salt (this helps highlight the Meyer lemon flavor).
2.Toss lemon zest curls with a little sugar and sprinkle them on top of the pudding. Serve warm or cold. Toasted almonds would be nice sprinkled on top too.
This recipe will work with any citrus—try it with your favorite.
Here are some more tips for using Meyer lemons.