Springtime is about sweetness tempered with tang. Think deep red strawberries dripping with juice as you bite into them, or the bracing sourness of rhubarb that wakes you up even with a judicious amount of sugar added. It’s easy to forget that blueberries are an actual seasonal crop since we get them in grocery stores all year long, but the truly seasonal ones you see at the farmers markets are a revelation, smaller and filled with flavor. And Meyer lemons with their tang tempering sweetness are always welcome.
I prefer to eat strawberries directly out of the basket after a dunk in water, nibbling around the leafy crown, but pairing them with scones is always a treat. Make your favorite scone recipe adding a bit of lemon zest from those Meyer lemons that are available now. Here’s a super easy cream scone recipe. Slice and sugar your strawberries and lay them atop your split scone. You don’t even need to whip cream, just pour some over.
As for rhubarb, why not make some of Nicole Taylor’s rhubarb BBQ sauce? It’s got the tang you want. Nicole’s new book, “Watermelon and Red Birds,” is the first cookbook dedicated to the Juneteenth holiday.
Whenever Meyer lemons come into season, I always make a quart of lemon sugar. All you do is use a sharp paring knife to cut the peel off a couple of lemons, being careful not to include any white pith. Then just put the sugar and the peel in a food processor with the steel blade, and whiz it up until the peel disappears into the sugar. Take a whiff. It’s a magical aroma that just makes you happy. It keeps well, but I tend to use it up in cookies or pound cakes or scones.
As for those fresh market blueberries, make this pie. Raw blueberries are held together with a quick thickened blueberry puree, and they pop in your mouth like caviar. No need to turn on the oven unless you’re making a blind baked crust.