Serves: Makes around 4 large jars
Preparation time: ~2.5 hours
Calories: ~18 per teaspoon
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – so the saying goes. Well, personally I prefer marmalade, and I think my father does too. He’s one of the biggest lemon fans I know (he used to buy large boxes of lemons from a fruit-shop near his old office just because he loved seeing them all out in a big dish at home!) and it was his birthday yesterday, so happy birthday to you, Dad! Maybe my dear mother would like to make him up a batch of this? 😀
If you watched my last video you’ll know that I recently got some fantastic lemons from a local farm shop. I used up my last jar of home-made marmalade months ago and haven’t done a great deal of preserving recently so I felt really inspired to make a lemon marmalade (Mainly by Sissi who seems to do a great deal of preserving and puts my paltry offerings every few months to shame!).
If you’re not familiar with lemon marmalade then you have a treat in store. This stuff is fantastic… as long as you appreciate lemons. The flavour can be quite intense. Note that you can of course mix and match the fruit to personal preference. I personally wanted a purely lemon marmalade, but you can add in oranges, grapefruit, even kumquats if you like. I also like a marmalade which is both “bitty” and “bitter” – that is to say, I like the finely chopped up zest inside, and I also like to boil it down well to give it a very dark, rich colour and flavour. If you prefer more pale marmalades then consider boiling for slightly less time, although bear in mind that the marmalade will have more liquid and thus might not set so well.
Look at those things… don’t they look sexy? Incidentally, I added in a store-bought lemon… I bet you’ll have no problem picking it out from the line-up above. I was going to use the same recipe as for my fast marmalade, from last year but in reading up online, I found a great tip. Boiling up the lemons first will mean they’re much easier to chop later. Since I’m all in favour of reducing chopping time and eliminating the need for a food processor (in marmalades I much prefer uniformly shredded zest instead of randomly pulverised pieces) I decided to use this method to great success.
I’ll definitely be heading back to the farm for more vegetables and tasty fruits soon – I’m even going to try to do a video featuring it as well – I think it might be quite fun to make a video about picking some vegetables, coming straight back and making something with them. It’s only Tuesday though, so I’ll have to save such excursions for the weekend. In the meantime however, enjoy the video from today’s post and, most importantly – enjoy the marmalade, which I strongly recommend making. Remember folks – eat more lemons, they’re good for you! As a quick note, if you’re not using special jam-making sugar, save the seeds from the lemons. Tie them up in a bit of muslin cloth and add them to the mixture with the sugar and boil them all up – it will, apparently, aid in the setting of the marmalade.
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- ~800g unwaxed Lemons
- ~1.5 kg of jam-making Sugar (or plain caster sugar if not available)
- 2 litres of Water
You’ll also need
- ~4-6 Preserving Jars
- Start off by washing the lemons. Rubbing them well between your hands under running water is a good way of doing this. Cut off the very ends where the stalks were and then place into a large pan with the water. Cover and bring to the boil before lowering the heat and simmering for about 1.5 hours. At this point you should find that you can easily run a fork through the lemons. Remove from the heat and set the lemons aside to cool in a dish. Do not throw away the water in the pan.
- Place a small dish into your freezer for testing the marmalade later and then preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Measure the liquid in the pan – you should have ~1.5 litres. If not, add some extra water to make it up to this amount. Once the lemons have cooled, cut them in half and scoop out any excess pulp. Separate the pulp from any seeds and add to the pan. Slice the lemons very finely and add to the pan as well. Add the sugar and, stirring well until dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil. Once the marmalade is boiling, wash your Preserving Jars and the lids thoroughly. Place into the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or so.
Continue boiling the marmalade for at least 20 minutes. I boiled it for about 40 until it was deliciously dark in colour. Skim off any foam from the top of the marmalade and then remove the cold dish from the freezer and drop a spoonful of the mixture onto it. Leave for a minute and if it’s looking fairly set then you’re good to go. Spoon the marmalade into the still quite hot preserving jars, filling right up to about 1cm away from the top, and seal immediately.
- Stored in a cool, dry place, the marmalade should keep for many months, although it’s probably best to store in the refrigerator once opened. Give it to friends for a great gift, or just keep it all to yourself and scoff the lot! Enjoy!