Backhousia citriodora is a beautiful flowering plant endemic to subtropical rainforests of central and South-Eastern Queensland, Australia.
Lemon Myrtle is a clear winner in popularity when it comes to versatility of use. The intensely citrus flavoured leaves can be used in sweet or savoury dishes and has been used by First Nations culture for cuisine, health and medicinal purposes for many thousands of years.
Similar to a Bay leaf, you can add the leaves to stews and soups, dressings and meat dishes. The leaves are also a wonderful flavour enhancer for sweet dishes such as in cakes, muffins, tea’s, custards and ice cream! It can be rather powerful so use sparingly.
The leaves themselves contain 90-98% citral content, which is the most natural source of citral oil (lemon taste) and boasts a powerhouse of nutritional benefits in the form of antioxidants, calcium, lutein, vitamin E and magnesium.
The plant itself is a can grow up to 3 metres tall and thrives in a semi shaded position. It produces delightful creamy white flowers, glossy green leaves and can be used as an ornamental plant, a screening or hedge plant. (Speak to your native garden specialist for more specific planting information for your soil and climate.)
To use, simply pick the leaves from the plant as required. If you can’t get hold of a Lemon Myrtle plant for yourself, you can purchase the leaves dried and ground into a powder or as an extract to use in cooking. It is also a popular choice as an essential oil for it’s antibacterial, antifungal and calming properties.
ZST – Lemon Myrtle Damper
Ever heard of Lemonade scones? ETCH Co founder Andy loves to spend time cooking and creating in the kitchen and came up with her take on Lemonade Scones. We hope you enjoy.
500g Self Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt (or even better, use a pinch of dried Saltbush)
2 Tbsp of dried Lemon Myrtle powder
275ml ETCH Sparkling ZST
2 Tbsp oil (we use Macadamia or Olive Oil)
Pre heat the oven to 220c
In a jug combine the ETCH Sparkling ZST and the oil
In a seperate bowl sift in the flour then add the salt and Lemon Myrtle powder.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the bowl combining to form a dough (add a little more water if the dough is too dry or more flour if the dough is too wet).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and knead together to form a smooth dough.
Shape into a loaf and place on a tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.
Allow to cool slightly (if you can wait) and enjoy warm.
This damper is delicious served with soup or savoury dishes or can be served with butter and Jam or honey as a sweeter option.