The Easy Citrus Substitute If You Can't Find Meyer Lemons

Meyer lemons may or may not be true lemons, but they are like the ambrosia the gods feasted upon on Mount Olympus. A crossbreed between a Eureka lemon — the most common lemon you find in the produce section — and a mandarin orange, these vibrant yellow fruits are the perfect marriage of sweet meets tart, producing a lemon that has a more saccharine taste and more fragrant aroma. But if you can't find Meyer lemons at your grocery store and you are making a recipe that calls for its juice, you can simply use a substitution of equal parts lemon juice and orange juice. Similarly, when a recipe calls for the zest from this variety, you can use equal portions of lemon and orange zest in its place. 

Can you use this substitution for most recipes? The answer is yes. Meyer lemons can be found in everything from a simple pasta to a divine dessert like a Meyer lemon souffle. They can even make an appearance in a light refreshing vinaigrette for your salad, but just mentally prepare your taste buds appropriately, because it will not have the same sour zing to it as something made with a regular lemon.

Juice and zest only

It's important to remember that Meyer lemons are a little more alkaline than the typical grocery store variations. They don't have that same bold tanginess to them, and their superpower is their sweetness. For this reason, Meyer lemons don't work perfectly for every recipe and tend to be featured in more dessert recipes like pudding cake, posset, lemon bars, and even the lemony liqueur limoncello. 

If you are going to make the substitution of half lemon juice and half orange juice to make your cocktail or dessert, keep in mind that a Meyer lemon only produces about two tablespoons of juice. Sadly, this substitution trick only works for the juice and zest. If you plan on using the actual fruity flesh of the Meyer lemon in a dish like a salsa verde or a yummy soup, then you cannot make the substitution, as you will not get the same taste.