Tuesday, February 8, 2011
We are a house divided when it comes to marmalade. The Boy loves it and I'm not a fan. I think that it's the bitterness that I generally associate with marmalade. All that being said a few years ago I bought some of Pim's Artisinal Marmalades and while I didn't love them (though the Boy and father-in-law absolutely did) they were so beautifully crafted that I wanted to try to make some myself.
I decided that a Meyer Lemon version would be perfect for my first attempt because the gorgeous lemon-orange hybrids are sweeter than the average lemon and these gems remind of California, for which I miss so dearly during the grey winter days in Toronto. It's interesting that the citrus season falls during these grey days, you go to the grocery store and the shelves are stocked with so many varieties of citrus in bright and summery colors.
Ever since I started making jam two summers ago, I am a complete sucker for gorgeous, fresh fruit. While I usually try to keep the fruit local, that's pretty tough in the winter but because most citrus is in season I feel good in knowing that they fruit I used for this marmalade at least cam from the US, not at good as from the farm 30 minutes outside of Toronto but it's the best a girl in the uber grey and snow covered Great White North can hope for.
Having never made marmalade before I knew I wanted to follow a recipe for my first go. When I did a quick search Elise Bauer's recipe over at Simply Recipes came up first and I knew that' the one I'd go for. When I first started blogging I would make one of Elise' recipes at least once a month and always loved them. It's been awhile since I've made any of her food and knew that I'd be in good hands following her step by step instructions. I'm actually not going to try to rewrite her instructions or copy them here, she did such an amazing job that you should really just head over there and check it out. I'll start by listing out the ingredients and tools you'll need and give some tips I learned along the way.
Meyer Lemon Marmalade
From Simply Recipes - click on the link for amazing step by step instructions
2 1/2 lbs organic Meyer Lemons
6 cups of water
6 cups organic cane sugar
Sharp knife and cutting board for prepping fruit
8 quart stainless steel or copper pot - not aluminum
Cheesecloth or Muslin Pectin bag
wooden of silicone spoon
Heat proof bowl
lid lifter magnet
6-8 250ml or half pint canning jars with snap lids and rings
I used Elise's frozen plate test for testing the doneness of the marmalade. If you are impatient like me place at least 4 plates in the freezer. Rinse after a testing and make sure the plate is completely dry before placing it back in the freezer. I had an oops where a slightly damp plate froze to some of the stuff in my freezer, no fun!
Basically Elise's directions are flawless and perfect if you've never made jam before. Even though I'm admittedly not a fan of marmalade, I did enjoy this one more than others. I didn't sterilize enough jars, so I had a couple cups of jam leftover that wasn't properly canned, in looking for uses I went with a pulled pork and I really liked the flavor this marmalade added to it.
I gave a jar to my father-in-law and got an email the next day saying "Best marmalade I've had in years. Make more anytime." That's a winner if I've ever heard of it.