Saturday, January 8

Marmalade adventures

My mom has a little tiny Meyer lemon tree. It is currently breaking all its branches because it's so loaded with lemons.

My citrus craving has reached its usual winter pitch, expanding into a longing for all foods citrus-flavored. So the idea to make marmalade popped into my head.

I'd never had marmalade and had no idea what it might taste like. I had a vague idea it might be kind of like lemon candy, only spreadable, and you can put it into meat marinades and desserts.

I surfed around, looking for recipes. I found one that looked likely for a while, but upon studying it, I found it worrisome that she boiled the lemon slices, then poured off the water. Seeing as all the pectin is in the peels, hadn't she just poured off all her pectin?

Then I found this recipe, and it made much more sense. And you don't have the extra step of juicing all the darn lemons, either. You just dice them up until you have six cups of chopped lemon, saving the seeds, pith, and membranes. The seeds, etc. you put into a cheesecloth bag and boil it with your diced lemon. This is where your pectin comes from.

Did you know commercial pectin is made from limes? Just a fun fact I found out during my research.

Anyway, here is how many lemons I had before I started.

This is how many lemons I had after I achieved six cups of diced lemons. It only took about 12 lemons. Talk about depressing.

Here's the diced lemons and pectin bag, all boiling together. You boil it about half an hour, until you can eat a lemon slice and they're extremely soft.

Then you take the pectin bag out, let it cool a bit, and squeeze extra pectin out of it. I did, and the clear slimy goop that came out was exactly like the stuff that comes out of the commercial packet. And it feels really gross on your hands.

Anyway, then you pour in six cups of sugar and cook the stuff until it his about 218 degrees F, which takes about half an hour of medium-high boiling. In the recipe, she has a few techniques of testing if your jelly is done or not. I did them and it worked fine.

I got four pint jars of beautiful lemon marmalade. The others were more full than this one. This was the one where I ran out of marmalade, so of course it was the one I opened and sampled. It tasted almost exactly how I had imagined.

There's probably no vitamin C left in it, because vitamin C doesn't like being cooked, but it sure tastes nutritious.

1 comment:

Farm Girl said...

Oh it turned out so pretty. Wow, so few lemons. Gosh, I guess we could go into business making marmalade. I will check out your recipe. Maybe it might be yummy to use a marmalade cake recipe and use lemon. I am so glad it turned out.


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