Lately I have become borderline obsessed with lemons. It started innocently enough, a slice of lemon in a mug of hot water here, an extra squirt of juice on my salad there. Before I knew it, I was going through lemons like nobody’s business. They were getting juiced over my supper, into my smoothies, and on top of my hummus. I just couldn’t get enough.
I suppose my lemon addiction was meant to be, seeing as fate played the enabler by making me friends and neighbors with Kristina, better known around the blogosphere as Girl Gone Grits, and owner of one of Austin’s most prolific meyer lemon trees. She gifted me with a huge bag of her famous lemons in early December. Of the twenty she gave me I only have three left. All of the others have been devoured, either straight from the rind, or juiced into countless recipes, both savory and sweet.
In addition to the recipe I plan on sharing with you today, my favorite creation would have to be a batch of Meyer Lemon Ice Cream that I whipped up for Christmas dessert. I used the Lemon Ice Cream recipe from my favorite ice cream cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams by Jeni Britton Bauer. It accompanied a ridiculously delicious Pistachio Cake (also flavored with Kristina’s meyer lemons) from my current favorite Italian cookbook, Franny’s by Feinberg, Stephens, and Clark.
I ended up tweaking that very Lemon Ice Cream recipe to make my own creation for a guest post on Kristina’s blog. By adjusting the syrup and infusion a bit, I made what turned out to be a truly killer Ginger Meyer Lemon Ice Cream. You can find the recipe on Girl Gone Grits.
I served another recipe from the Franny’s cookbook that night, a simple Broccoli Soup. I’m telling you, when that soup is garnished with a fresh squeeze of meyer lemon and a hefty scoop of parmesan, it becomes something more delicious than anything made with broccoli has a right to be.
The authors of Franny’s seem to love lemon almost as much as I do. The recipe in the book for Lemon Spaghetti was what ended up inspiring me to write my own lemon recipe. The combination of tart lemon, creamy butter, and salty parmesan had me reeling. I couldn’t help but wonder – could that very same flavor profile work on a pizza?
After a few experimental pies I had my answer: YES. Lemon pizza is a go. Meyer lemons are ideal for this purpose, being slightly sweeter and less bitter than regular lemons. If you do try this recipe with everyday lemons, I recommend omitting the actual lemon slices, and squirting plenty of fresh juice over the freshly baked pie instead.
A note on the pizza dough: You can either make your own (my favorite recipe is from Food Wishes and you can check that out here) or you can use pre-made dough from your favorite pizzeria or grocery store. I’ve made pizza both ways, and though homemade is awfully good, I’ve never met a pizza I didn’t like.
Makes two 14-inch pies
- Pizza Dough (enough for two medium pizzas)
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 6 – 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 2 meyer lemons, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible
- 2 bunches fresh basil, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated or thinly shredded)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to its highest temperature (usually around 500). If you are using a pizza stone, preheat the stone in the oven, and let the oven heat up for an extra twenty minutes before baking your pizza.
- Roll half of the dough into a fourteen inch round on a well floured surface. Transfer to a floured pan or pizza peel before adding your toppings.
- Spread one tablespoon of olive oil over the dough, then sprinkle with one tablespoon of minced garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Season the ricotta with a little salt and pepper, then distribute half of the cheese over the dough in small dollops.
- Spread half of the mozzarella cheese over the dough, spacing them out as much as possible. Place the sliced lemons onto the pizza sparingly. Ideally, each slice of pizza should end up with no more than one slice of lemon on it.
- Sprinkle half of the basil over the dough, followed by half of the parmesan, and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven, and let it bake for ten to twenty minutes, or until the crust and cheese becomes golden brown.
- Repeat with the next ball of dough.
Attention Lemon Lovers: If you like meyer lemons, be sure to check out Kristina’s 12 Days of Meyer Lemons series on Girl Gone Grits. Some of my favorite bloggers have submitted their own recipes featuring meyer lemons. I shared on for the series myself, a recipe for an amazingly sweet and creamy Ginger Meyer Lemon Ice Cream.