Lemon Marmalade you say? YES! I say! I have been craving this ever since the Moroccan Preserved Lemons. I found Meyer Lemons at Sam’s Club for $3. I had been looking up marmalade recipes for some time and Meyer Lemons kept popping up (Meyer Lemons are best, use Meyer Lemons, I recommend Meyer Lemons.) So you can imagine when I found them I was very excited. And I was even more excited that they were so inexpensive. So I picked up two boxes.
What is so special about Meyer Lemons? Well, they’re sweeter, smaller, and juicier than typical lemons. They’re a cross between a lemon and a clementine. You literally can eat them like an orange. Well, I can anyway.
Next, I turned to one of my online sources for all things culinary, Serious Eats. Their Preserved section has a fabulous recipe for Meyer Lemon Marmalade. Though I will say, if you intend to triple the recipe like I did, make sure you allow triple the time it says it will take. Or at least double. The recipe states that total time should be around 1 hour 30 minutes. It actually took me a total of about 4 hours and 30 minutes.
So, following the Serious Eats recipe, here is how I made them. I’ll use the original recipe amounts, because….well…because not everyone is crazy enough to triple the recipe…I will also tell you that for following the recipe, the seriouseats website is pretty slick. You can bookmark each step.
My instructions are more involved than the recipe on the website. If you’re not familiar with canning, this will be very helpful.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
6 Meyer Lemons
2 1/2 Cups of water
4 Cups of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp butter
Crystalized Ginger (in the original recipe, it mentions adding the ginger at the end, but doesn’t give any specific amount in the ingredients) I used one square of ginger for every 6 lemons added to the recipe. What I should have done and what I suggest you do, is dice them and add them to the marmalade at the end.
1-1.75 oz package of no sugar needed powdered pectin – such as sure jell. Or you can use the liquid pectin, just make sure you have proper amounts.
Vegetable peeler (or two) – I recommend the traditional peeler just because it’s easier for me to hold, but use what you have or what you feel most comfortable with.
Sharp paring knife
2 large bowls (one for the sugar, one for the lemons)
Shallow metal spoon (for skimming foam if necessary)
Approximately 5-7 1/2 pint jelly jars with lids and seals
Tongs – both regular and jar tongs
A clean cloth for wiping off the tops of the jars
A ladel or a glass measuring cup
You’ll be canning, so get your gear ready before you start because you’ll be up to your elbows in lemons and sticky lemon juice.
COOKING AND PREPARING
Prepare your jars and your water bath. I put my jars in the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle and I start it before I begin cooking. I also add water to the canning kettle and get that heating up on the stove because it’s a lot of water and it takes a good chunk of time to heat to boiling. You don’t want to wait for that when you have everything prepared and ready to go except the water bath.
Wash the lemons. You’ll be using the rind so you want them to be clean and free of any chemicals, waxes, or pesticides that may have been added to the lemons.
Test the Lemons. Or have a minion do it. (Don’t worry, this was my hammy son – he actually ate several segments of the lemons) And you don’t actually have to do this step. I just needed a reason to add this photo.
Measure 4 cups of sugar in a separate bowl and set it aside. You can have someone help you if you want…just sayin’.
Peel the lemons in strips with the vegetable peeler. Try to be careful to get as little pith (or white part) as possible. A little won’t make that big of a difference, but if you get too much, it may become bitter.
Chop the strips into little thin pieces. The recipe tells you to slice the strips into very thin strips lengthwise, but I had the rinds from 18 lemon to chop, so I just chopped them. I considered using the food processor but I didn’t. I probably should have.
Combine the water and the baking soda in the large heavy bottom pot on the stove. Stir until baking soda is dissolved and add the chopped rinds. Cook on medium to medium-high heat until the rinds are soft.
Peel the pith off of the lemon. I recommend peeling all the lemons at once before you segment, squish and remove the seeds. You can use a paring knife to scrape the pith initially, then it will peel very easily from the lemon itself. As in the original recipe, I recommend doing this over a bowl to help keep the juices.
Next, segment the lemon, remove the seeds (there are A LOT of seeds…) and squish them to remove as much juice as possible (you will not be processing any of this lemon with a processor or a juicer.) I removed some of the toughest membranes between the sections, but not all. Most of it will cook down anyway.
Measure the amount of pulp and juice you have, around 1 Cup. Add the pulp and juice to the rinds in the pot and stir until combined. Add the butter. Add the pectin packet over the mixture and stir constantly until the mixture boils.
HELPFUL NOTE: The original recipe says to measure your squished lemons and juice at this point. I thought that was silly. But now I know better. It IS important to measure so you know how much pectin you need in order for the marmalade to set properly (which mine didn’t – fYI). The recipe says that you should have about 1 cup of juice and pulp. So I should have had around 3 cups. I had over 5 cups of juice and pulp. At this point, I probably should have added 1-2 more packets of pectin to the 3 that I already added.
Add the sugar and chop and add the crystalized ginger.all at once and stir constantly (so the mixture doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pot) and well until all the sugar is melted. Continue to stir until it comes to a rolling boil. Let it boil for 1 full minute. This is important!! Don’t skip this step. Skim off any foam that develops.
Here is where it is helpful to have another set of hands. Maybe two. Nah, probably just one more.
Set up your canning station. Get a heavy cutting board, a heavy potholder, a few towels, your canning funnel, and a ladle ready. Carefully move the hot pot of marmalade off the stove and onto the counter and onto the potholder.
**By this time, your hot water bath water should be boiling pretty well on the stove. (You didn’t forget about it, did you?)
With the tongs, hold the seal under the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds or so.
Remove jars as you need them from the dishwasher. Set on a towel or cutting board, insert the canning funnel, and carefully ladle the marmalade into the hot jar to about 1/4 inch from the rim. With a clean wet cloth clean the top of the jar so the seal can seal properly.
Receive the seal with a clean towel, dry it a little, and place onto the jar, and twist on the ring.
Put the jars (mine takes 7 at a time – just so they do not touch) into a hot water bath (under the water – according to my husband) for 10 full minutes. This mixture is pretty acidic, so botulism is probably not too much of a worry, but this also helps remove any air from the seals and also helps to make one feel better about canning. 🙂
Remove the jars with a jar tong (or a jar lifter) and let the jars cool on a towel on the counter (do not let them touch while cooling) until you hear that delightful PING!
Don’t panic if they don’t set up right away, they should set up as they cool.
Enjoy your marmalade on bread, yogurt, with a spoon…Even if it doesn’t set up (like mine didn’t) it will be wonderful mixed into yogurt or even mixed into a smoothie.