I know it might seem strange that we would be harvesting lemons in December but we are.  

In spite of the dipping temperatures (and by dipping I mean 50 degrees here in Southern California) my first year lemon tree is filled with bright yellow fruit ready to be made in to all things lemony.

Although my harvest was only a meager 15 lemons this year, it didn't stop me from creating four different yummy treats to share with you.  After a quick search of pinterest I settled on a lemon meringue pie, lemon scones, lemon extract and limoncello.  I would say I squeezed out (pun intended) every ounce of lemony goodness from every part of my small yield.

I decided to try my hand at a lemon meringue pie because it was my husbands childhood favorite and I wanted to surprise him with a homemade pie for his birthday.  This was my first attempt at this particular pie and although it wasn't a complete success, it wasn't a complete failure either.  Let's say it was a good learning experience in all things meringue!

This is the recipe I used and it tasted great but I probably should have researched how to have a successful meringue experience before attempting the pie and not after.  But then, that's generally how I roll.

These lemon scones were ah-mazing!  The picture doesn't do them justice but this basic recipe has been moved up to my go to for scones.  I can already see myself varying the flavors and adding a powder sugar glaze in the future.  Definitely one for you to try.

Who knew making extracts was so simple.  A little vodka, a few lemon peels and a little patience and you've got yourself a dash of natural lemon flavor whenever you need it.  This recipe was pretty straight forward and I imagine you could use it for just about any flavor extract you have a hankering for.  And transfer them to an amber glass jar, add a cute label and they would make adorable gifts.

Lastly I made Giada DeLaurentis Limoncello recipe.  Here again I rushed in without reading the recipe to the end but it still turned out delicious.  I failed to see the part about letting the lemon peels sit in the vodka for a couple of days before adding the simple syrup so I am sure it would have been even more amazing if I had.

So there you have it, Four Ways to Use Fresh Lemons.  I can't wait to add to my list next year when our little lemon tree produces its next crop but with lemons available in abundance very soon, who needs to wait?

Head to your local produce market, grab a dozen or two and let me know what you come up with.

xo, Patty

Just in case you want to check out the video version of all this lemon yumminess plus a little coffee chat, here's the link to my YouTube channel.

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