Weekend Marmalade Project
How is your weekend looking so far? Are you busy, or not so much? Ours doesn’t look too bad for a change so I think it will be a great time to complete some sorely needed spring clean up yard work and window washing. Hubby doesn’t know this yet but we ARE going to be busy! If you’re looking for a project to fill your weekend hours or get you out of yard work, this Meyer Lemon and Ginger Marmalade will fit the bill. It literally takes all day but in the end you have this marvelous marmalade to enjoy with your breakfast toast or scones.
This is my first foray into marmalade making and I would never have even tried if it weren’t for my dad. The last time we were at the farm for a visit he went on and on about my sister in law’s marmalade and how he couldn’t get enough of it. He was down to his last jar and hinted to her repeatedly that he was about to run out. Nothing. I don’t know how many times he told me that same story on our visit but I definitely got the hint. How hard could it be? It turns out making marmalade isn’t very difficult at all, just very time consuming.
I bought a huge bagful of Meyer Lemons and got to work. The recipe that I found instructed me to slice the lemons into halves lengthwise, then to sliver the lemons as thinly as possible with the pith and fruit still attached. This step alone took me at least an hour and I was so glad that I had just got my knives sharpened.
Though the pith and seeds are needed for the marmalade to set, I really didn’t like picking out the seeds after that first initial boil. I’ve seen some recipes that require the zest part to be added directly to the pan while the pith, flesh and seeds are all put into a cheese cloth bag for the initial boil. While it is extra work to remove the zest I would guess that it would be preferable to removing the seeds at a later time. No one wants seeds in their marmalade!
Meyer Lemon and Ginger Marmalade
- 2 lb (1 kg) Meyer Lemons (do not substitute regular lemons)
- 8 cups (2 kg) sugar (or as needed)
- 2 cups fresh Meyer Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger (still very firm with tinges of pink)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
- Begin by cutting the ends off of each lemon. Use a mandolin to slice the lemons as thinly as possible but if you have a crappy mandolin like I have, do it the old fashioned way with a sharp knife. Cut each lemon in half lengthwise, then proceed to cut into thin strips including pith and flesh.
- Place the strips and their liquid into a pan with 8 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes making sure to stir occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Measure the cooked citrus and liquid and return to saucepan. For each 1 cup, add 1 1/4 cups sugar to the pan. Add fresh Meyer lemon juice.
- At this point make sure to have your jam jars and lids hot and sterilized. Place a plate in the freezer.
- Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat and boil rapidly, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Add the fresh ginger and continue boiling until slightly thickened.
- Test to see if your marmalade will thicken properly by dropping a tsp of it onto the frozen plate. Wait a minute and if it thickens and wrinkles when you try to move it then it is done. If not, keep on boiling the marmalade until it will set on the frozen plate.
- When you are satisfied with the set, remove marmalade from heat and stir in the crystallized ginger.
- Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean (if needed) before you put the lids on. Make sure the lids are just slightly tightened.
- Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath then remove and let the jars sit undisturbed overnight. Don't worry if you get one or two that don't seal. Just keep them in the fridge and use them within a couple of months.