Thursday, March 13, 2008

If life deals you lemons...

Remember those Meyer lemons?


lemon fairy marmalade fig. a: Lemon Fairy Marmalade

Lemon Fairy Marmalade

5 small Meyer lemons
juice of 1 lemon, Meyer or otherwise
1 1/3 cups water
granulated sugar as needed

Take the five Meyer lemons with fine fresh skins and peel them thinly, taking just the yellow part of the rind. Slice this into very fine strips, keeping in mind that the finer you slice this, the better the marmalade will be, and put aside.

Slice the pulp (with the white rind attached) very thin. Add the pulp to the sliced yellow rind and the juice of 1 more lemon. Take out any remaining pits without straining the juice. You should now have about 1 cup of prepared lemon and juices.

Cover this with 1 1/3 cups of cold water. Soak for three hours. Measure the volume. Then add an equal amount of granulated sugar, and simmer the marmalade until it jells. Test it, of course, on a cold saucer until it is exactly the thickness you want it to be. At this point you can either can it in clean, hot jars, or allow it to cool and stand overnight. If you choose the latter: the next day, stir it gently but thoroughly to distribute the rind and the bits of pulp and pour into clean jars. If you decided not to can, make sure to keep the marmalade refrigerated and to consume it in a timely fashion.

[adapted slightly from a recipe in Fine Preserving by Catherine Plagemann (1967)]

If you don't have access to Meyer lemons, any other "perfect lemons with fine fresh skins" will do too. But if you use another type of lemon, be sure to heed Plagemann's advice: "It is better to allow this particular marmalade to sit on your shelf [assuming you've canned it properly] for at least a week's time before using it as before that it will taste a little too tart and the rind will still be a bit tough. After a week or so it is quite fine and ready for the table." Use Meyer lemons, however, and it'll be "quite fine and ready for the table" the next day.

As you may have gathered from the photo above, that's what happened with ours. It was open and on the table the next day. We just couldn't resist.



Allison said...

Wow do I totally disagree with you that "the finer you slice it the better the marmalade will be". My family's experience with orange marmalade is that if you slice it too thinly it loses all the flavour. It looks pretty, but it doesn't taste as good. YMMV.

michelle said...

Hi Allison, it's true that thick-cut marmalade is the way to go with Seville oranges. Lemon marmalade, though, can be overwhelming if it's thick cut (lime, also).

Allison said...

Hm, that's good to know. I assumed it would be the same for any type of marmalade. Thanks for the tip!