Spring fruit: What can you make with strawberries, blueberries, Meyer lemons?

By Evan Kleiman

Strawberry “scone” cakes are a wonderful variation for spring. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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.

Strawberries from Murray Family Farms at the Santa Monica Farmers Market are a sign of spring. Photo by Tyler Boudreaux/KCRW

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.

The bracing sourness of rhubarb wakes you up even with a judicious amount of sugar added. Photo by Shutterstock. 

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.

With Meyer lemons, you can make lemon sugar to use in cookies, pound cakes, and scones. Photo by Shutterstock.

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.

The fresh, uncooked blueberry pie from Dorothy Reinhold is a revelation of flavor and texture. Photo courtesy of ShockinglyDelicious.com.