Citrus season is here!

The forecast for January is bright and sunny. With hues of orange, yellow, green and gold, the produce department at FRESH will be full of colorful, juicy, delicious citrus.

When it comes to citrus, my personal favorite is lemons and I find a way to use them almost daily. Squeezing the juice into water, adding the zest to baked goods or layering slices on top of chicken or fish, lemons are so versatile and have great health benefits, as well.  Don’t forget a bowl of lemons is also a beautiful addition to your kitchen décor.

But don’t limit yourself to just lemons. Right now, there are several varieties of citrus that can be used all the same ways you would use a lemon. Filled with vitamin C, minerals and antioxidants, citrus also acts as a cleansing ingredient in many diets, a burst of acid in recipes and can help with immunity, energy and digestion.

An assortment of oranges, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, nectarines, and even kumquats are at their peak of flavor and readily available. Every year, I look forward to the arrival of blood oranges and melogold grapefruit. They are both so unusual and the flavor is unexpected when compared to their everyday counterparts.

Citrus can also help with one of my new year’s resolutions for 2022. Every week, I am challenging myself to try a new food or ingredient. With the vast selection at FRESH, citrus season will offer some great choices. Who knows? I might just find a new favorite.

UPSIDE DOWN LEMON CAKE

  • 4 Meyer lemons
  • 10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups almond flour or ground, blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large lemons

Slice the lemons very thin and remove seeds. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and spray the pan with nonstick spray. Melt two tablespoons of butter and pour into the cake pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter. Starting in the middle, arrange the lemon slices in a circular pattern on top of the melted butter and sugar.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding another. Slowly mix in the almond flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Zest and juice the lemons and add to the batter.

In another bowl, whip the egg whites until creamy with stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to the batter and stir to incorporate. Fold in the remaining 2/3 of egg whites. Careful not to lose volume in the egg whites. Spoon the batter into the cake pan and level the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Test the middle of the cake with a toothpick. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and turn out onto a cake plate.

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