The Eighth & Ninth Days of Christmas (Meyer Lemon Marmalade)
Still working through my citrus boxes.
On the Eight Day, the Meyer lemons poached the previous night got squeezed, sliced, briefly simmered with sugar, and rested overnight again. It’s important that the rind softens as much as possible or the marmalade will have an unpleasant texture..
On the Ninth Day, it get boiled, jarred and processed in a water bath for long-term shelf life. Voila, beautiful marmalade fit to rival traditional Seville orange marmalade (which I could not find.) Particularly good with Butter Cookies from Brittany. You know, if we are going to go sweet, we are going to go sweet! (but a little bit goes a long way – this is a potent marmalade)
This recipe illustrates that you may can all year long, and in small quantities too!
Meyer Lemon Marmalade
Yields about 5 1/2 pint jars
- 2 pounds (900 g) of organic unwaxed Meyer lemons (about 10 or 11 large ones)
- A scant 2 pounds of sugar (850 g)
- Put the whole lemons in a heavy non-reactive pan, cover with water, bring to a gentle boil, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove lemons from the water and let cool totally. Discard the water.
- Halve the lemons, squeeze out and reserve the juice.
- Quarter the shells, and slice the rinds as thinly as you can. Chop some down in tiny pieces (mine – as shown in the pictures – were not thin enough to yield my favorite marmalade texture texture).
- Put the chopped rinds and sugar in a large heavy non-reactive pan. Strain the juice into it (save and dry the seeds if you wish as they be used to provide pectin for jam made with low-pectin fruit)
- Gently bring to boil, stirring so that the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let rest in a cool place overnight.
- Bring the marmalade to a medium boil, stirring often. Boil for 10 minutes stirring constantly to prevent scorching – or until the marmalade gels properly (to test for gel: remove the pot from the heat. Put a small amount of jam on a small plate that has been in the freezer for 15 minutes. Wait a minute or two. The jam is ready is it gels then.) This is a very easy jam to overcook. So watch out!
- Immediately transfer the marmalade to Mason jars and can for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. (Alternatively you may ladle into jars and let cool without canning before refrigerating them for a few months.)
Note: as a variant you could add a little bit of finely chopped fresh ginger root or a vanilla bean.