My childhood home has a Meyer lemon tree growing in the backyard. It’s over 40 years old, and yet my dad is able to harvest hundreds of lemons from it every year — and share them with me. We love it!
I lived a privileged life as a child in as much as I had this wealth of lemons twice a year. We weren’t rich. Ours was quite the modest neighborhood. But thanks to a backyard garden, we ate like kings. And fresh lemonade was a regular feature on our table.
I never had a grocery store lemon until I went to college. And I was stunned. Meyer lemons are a totally different and beautiful experience when it comes to citrus.
The Meyer Lemon
The Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Frank Meyer, an USDA employee, collected a sample of the tree when he was traveling in China in the early 20th century. For most of that century it was relegated to backyard gardens, particularly California gardens like ours, because its thin skin wasn’t sturdy enough for mass distribution.
In the late 1990s chef Alice Waters and home manager extraordinaire Martha Stewart helped the Meyer Lemon come into its own. And it continues to grow in popularity.
Meyer Lemon Herbal Tea by Stash
Recently Stash Tea sent me a sample of their latest flavor — Meyer Lemon. Herbal tea takes me back to the year I lived in France and my friend Sarah and I explored all flavors of tisane. We would have loved this one, crafted from a blend of rosehips, lemongrass, orange peel, hibiscus, Meyer lemon oil, and safflower.
Currently, Stash is running a recipe contest, featuring this newest flavor of herbal tea. There are several different categories to enter. And the prizes include a Kitchenaid Mixer, a dutch oven from Le Creuset, a Breville blender, a Takeya tea maker, and of course, cases of Meyer Lemon Herbal Tea.
I got creative with this tea and decided to use it in baking. I already had a bag of Mix and Match Muffins in the freezer. So, I substituted tea for the liquid. The result was a batch of lemony sweet muffins that my family devoured in a flash.
Meyer Lemon Tea Muffins
- 2 lemon herbal tea bags
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup neutral oil
- 2 egg
- 1 batch Mix and Match Muffin Mix
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin cups with muffin papers. Brew the tea and allow it to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the tea, yogurt, oil, and eggs. Whisk until well blended.
- Add the muffin mix and lemon zest.
- Fold just until combined.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups. It's okay if the cups overflow. Sprinkle generously with demerara sugar.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Cool the baked muffins on a wire rack.