Meyer lemons are one of my favorites fruits, sweeter than traditional store-bought lemons with a floral smell to them. As my daughter explained, they smell like a flower. Fortunately, for me, my friend Charlie had some Meyer Lemons to share with me. Thank you Charlie! (Your marmalade is on it’s way!)
This recipe is from Simply Recipes. This is my first attempt at marmalade – mind you, I have never made jam or jelly before. Going into it I knew making marmalade would be a process and during the process I wished I had taken one of Linda’s canning/jam classes to boost my confidence. Nonetheless, here I am winging it on my own, recipe in hand, and pruned fingers (from preparing the lemons). Preparing the fruit took a lot longer than I anticipated. Throughout the whole process I was feeling a little unsure of my skills – and I was hoping I didn’t just waste 2 1/2 pounds of Meyer lemons.
- 2 1/2 lbs of Meyer lemons (about 9 lemons)
- 6 cups water
- 6 cups granulated sugar
You will need to go through the long process of cutting the lemons in half, then quarter each half. Peel off any of the membrane that is easy to get to, cut off the pith from the middle of the lemon, and remove any seeds setting all this aside to use to make pectin. Once you clean out the membranes, pith and seeds, slice the quarters into thin pieces of lemon (think how big of a piece of fruit you would want to eat). (Note: the portion of lemon segments to water to sugar is 1:1:1 so weigh your lemons)
FIRST STAGE OF COOKING
Place the seeds, pith, and membranes in a double layer of cheese cloth, tie it up into a bag to become pectin. Place the lemons, water, and pectin bag in a pot.
This is the first stage of cooking. Bring the water to a boil on medium high heat. Cook the lemons until they are softened. 25-35 minutes. Test one of the lemons make sure they are soft and not the least bit chewy. Any chewiness and you need to cook them a bit longer.
Remove the pot from the heat, and remove the pectin bag to a bowl to cool until it is cool enough to touch. Squeeze the pectin from the bag and add it to the lemon mixture.
SECOND STAGE OF COOKING
This is is the second and final stage of cooking – add the sugar to the lemon mixture and turn the heat back on to about medium-high and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. This is the stage where you have to be very careful not to have the heat up too high so the fruit doesn’t burn. Also, be careful not to over cook the marmalade otherwise you get a gooey marmalade instead of a jelly one – that is how mine came out – more gooey than I wanted.
The marmalade may take anywhere between 20-35 minutes at this point. After about 15 minutes start checking it often. I put 3 or 4 spoons in the freezer and had them read to check.
If you put the jelly mixture on the spoon and it spreads out and thins immediately it is not done yet. If it holds it shape when it hits the spoon and then wrinkles a little when you push it with your finger that means you are good to go! Remove the pan from the heat.
Make sure you have some glass canning jars.
I washed all my lids and jars in the dishwasher and when they were done washing I put the jars on the cookie sheet and put them in a 200°F oven while my marmalade was in the second stage of cooking. (they should be in there at least 10 minutes before using).
Using a ladle (to ensure you have evenly dispersed lemons) pour the marmalade into the jars, leaving about 1/4” head space in the jar for a vacuum seal. Making sure your lids are dry and you wipe the rim of the jar clean with a towel or wet paper towel. Place the lids on your marmalade and let sit out on the counter overnight.
You will hear “pop” sounds as the vacuum seal is created.
Makes 6-8 half-pint jars.
In the end, some were impressed but I did not like the marmalade as much as I hoped I would. A friend had some Blue Chair Jam, Lemon Marmalade that I tried and I did not much like that one either. There is a particular taste that I do not care for that I tasted in both my and the Blue Chair version– but you may love this! It sure does look pretty though!