Tag Archives: lemons

Choosing The Juiciest Lemons

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When a recipe calls for 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, how do you know how many lemons to buy? The answer to that question is:  it depends.  It depends on how ripe it is and how large it is.  It’s amazing the different amount of juice lemons can produce.  One juicy  lemon can give you as much as 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) but more often 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of juice.  An unripe lemon (even a jumbo one) can give you as little as 1 tablespoon (thus you would need four lemons to get 1/4 cup of juice).

Then there’s the flip side of the question.  How much lemon juice does a recipe call for when it says “Juice of one lemon”?  To be a little dogmatic, to me that would indicate a poorly written recipe, but that aside, I would go for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice assuming an average lemon.

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could select a juicy lemon just by looking at it?  Well you can (or at least I can).  Look at the five lemons above.  Which one do you think is the juiciest?  the darkest yellow?  the lightest yellow?  the biggest one?

Actually none of those factors are the first thing I look for.  It’s the texture of the skin.  Lemons with smooth skins are fresher (less pits and a fresher flavor) than lemons with pitted skin.  Usually they are also lighter in color.

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Although texture of skin is the visual cue, you must also give the lemon the squeeze test.  If it is hard as a rock and has no give; it will not be juicy; and the pith (white part) will be very thick no matter how light or smooth the lemon is on the outside.

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The darker, more pitted lemon in the front of the picture above will also have more seeds than the lighter one (usually the light lemons have no pits at all).

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The last fact to consider is that the really old lemons, ones that are dark yellow with deeply pitted skins, can still be juicy but may have a bitter after taste.

So, when life deals you lemons – make lemonade – but choose the best lemons to make it with!
Continue reading Choosing The Juiciest Lemons

Toys for Lemons

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The Duane Reid a block from my apartment just closed.  The week before DR closed it put all sorts of stuff on sale – not just a measley 10 or 20% off – I mean 90% off. Cheap.  When I see sales like that I just can’t help myself.  I buy all kinds of stuff I would NEVER think of buying and one of those objects was a citrus spritzer. It was only $.59 – how could I resist (and to tell the truth I bought three – such a bargain -who could resist???)

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I tried it today and I am totally in love and just had to share it with you.  Here’s how it works:  The bottom of the green part is serrated

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and just screws into the lemon.

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Then you just press the pump and it spritzes lemon juice onto whatever you want (I used it on baked turbot).  But I can see it being great on salads, or on cut fruit like apples that brown if unless you put a little lemon juice on them.  When the pump stops spraying, just move the spritzer to another part of the lemon.

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This gadget really works!

But as long as I’m talking about lemon toys, here are a few more you might want to know about:

Microplanes

when a recipe calls for lemon zest, microplanes are the gadget to use.  They are so much easier to use than trying to zest a lemon on a 4 side box grater and they remove a thinner layer of zest.  You can also use them for fine grating things such as ginger.

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Juicers

I have 2 juice gadgets that I love.  The reamer and the old fashioned juicer.  I use the reamer (the wooden gadget) when I only need to juice one or two lemons.  For bigger jobs, like 1/2 cup lemon juice or when the lemons are just filled with pits and I want to keep them out of the juice I use this juicer that fits over most size cups or bowls.

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Zesters

for making decorations or fancy lemon slices or wedges I use this zester

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You can also make lemon zest with the end that has the smaller holes

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I’m sure there are millions of more lemon gadgets on the market but these are my favs – and, of course, you can use these for all kinds of citrus fruits.

Have Fun!