Posts Tagged lemon marmalade

Cara-Meyer marmalade

For those that find regular marmalade too bitter, let me offer you this latest experiment, with a few suggestions to make it work better for you than it did for me. You see there were Meyer lemons left over from my Meyer marmalade adventure earlier this week, and there were ripe, sweet Cara Cara oranges from the same Costco expedition. Combining them produces a really pretty orange/pink marmalade, which is almost lacking that mouth-puckering bitterness I love so much. It’s a little runnier than I would have liked, but not runny enough to boil up again to try to get a firmer set. And marmalade sometimes firms up over several days, so it might be thicker by this time next week anyway. A mostly successful experiment, but I would give it a good 15 minutes of rolling boil next time (rather than 12), and perhaps a little more sugar or a little less water.

Just like last time, I (vaguely) used the Food in Jars 1:1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar to water, although I cooked the fruit before cutting it up, and also cut the sugar a smidgeon because the oranges were already pretty sweet. Possibly a mistake. Other things were different too. I had a slightly bigger batch of fruit, I cut the peel finer, and the (seedless) oranges didn’t give me as many of the pectin-rich seeds and pith as I got from the lemons, so there was less help with the set. But I love the colour, and the taste is not half bad as well. Others may love it.

Here’s the methodology and the quantities, which yielded just over 7 jars of pretty orange/pink jam:

Cara-Meyer marmalade
(Somehow Cara-Meyer sounds better than Meyer-Cara)

I used 4 Meyer lemons and 3 Cara Cara oranges, which weighed in 1.1kg, and just under 1kg of sugar.

Weigh the fruit, and set aside a roughly equal quantity of suger. Cut fruit in quarters, cover with water and simmer until the peels are butter soft. That took about 30 minutes for the lemons and 45 minutes for the oranges. Fish the fruit out of the water and allow to cool enough to handle. With the lemons you remove the seeds and as much as the white pith as you can and tie them in cheesecloth, before slicing the peel as finely as you like. The oranges were seedless, so I just scraped flesh off the peel and chopped that up, and then sliced the peels. That breaks traditional marmalade rules which say the peel should be suspended in a jelly. But I like the extra texture that chopped-up fruit offers, so I always add the fruit. Who cares about rules?

Measure the liquid you used to simmer the fruit and add enough water to top things up to the weight of your fruit or sugar (so 1 litre in my case), and then mix the chopped up fruit, sugar and water (plus cheesecloth bag of seeds) and cook, slowly until the sugar dissolves and then at a rolling boil until it sets. We boiled our mix for about 12 minutes, and we thought we had a set. Maybe 15 minutes next time? But then each lemon and each orange is different. It’s hard to be precise with things like jam.

Bottle in sterilized jars and waterbath for 10 minutes.

Et voilla. Slightly sloppy Cara-Meyer marmalade. Tastes very good with cottage cheese, and would be awesome in a marmalade cake, if anyone can ever offer me a recipe for that that works.

Anyone?

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Mmm Meyers

The plan, for what it’s worth, was to make marmalade later this month, once the Seville oranges hit the stores. But how could I resist a giant bag of Meyer lemons at suspiciously low Costco prices?

Meyer lemons make magnificent marmalade, even though I admit to some frustration in the past with recipes that tell you to prep the fruit in three different ways, and some WTF moments with a Meyer marmalade that started off like a syrup, and then set, surprisingly, two days after the canning. So this time I kept things simple, following the formula from Marissa at Food in Jars : one pound fruit, one pound sugar, one pound water.

Well actually, I used two pounds each of fruit, sugar and water, so it wasn’t exactly the smallest of small batches, but it was incredibly easy and it set incredibly fast.

Meyer lemon marmalade

2 lbs Meyer lemons
2 lbs sugar
4 cups water

Wash the lemons (my babies were not organic, sadly), slice off the ends and cut them into quarters or sixths, lengthwise. Slice off the edge piece of the membrane and fish out the seeds, keeping both in a cheesecloth bag to help the marmalade set. Then slice the peel/flesh as evenly as you can, and put it in your pot with the water.

Bring your lemons to a simmer with the little cheesecloth bag (at the top of the picture) and cook until the peels are butter soft — it took about 3o minutes — and allow the mix to cool. Then squeeze out the cheesecloth bag to get as much as the gooey pectin-rich liquid as you can, discard the bag and add the sugar. Heat, gently until the sugar dissolves, and then at a rolling boil until it sets. Some people use a thermometer for this (222F is the magic number, I am told), but I just put a blob on a cold plate, and if it looks right and stays separated when I run my finger through it, it’s done. I did my first test after 5 minutes of rolling boil, and it was still a little liquid, so I went on for another 4 minutes, which was perhaps a minute or two too long. It’s a good, firm set.

Bottle in sterilized jars and waterbath for 10 minutes. The satisfying pop of the seal came seconds after I took my lovely little jars out of the water.

Five and a half beautiful little jars of sweet-tart marmalade.

I have 8 Meyers left, plus half a bag of luscious Cara Cara oranges. Has anyone ever made a Cara-Meyer marmalade? Would it be good?

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More marmalade: will I never learn?

Will I never learn that I’m not very good at using up marmalade? I love the making of it, and the heady orange smell right through the house, and I love the fact that you have to seize the few short weeks when Seville oranges hit the stores. But while I race through a jar of jam a week, and we can clean out a jar of chutney in a single meal, the marmalade does tend to sit around. I use it on the rare morning when I want toast for breakfast, or for a peanut butter-marmalade sandwich (a surprisingly tasty combination) midway through my summer bike rides. But it takes a while to use up a jar.

Despite all that I made more marmalade today, both the traditional Seville orange stuff, and the more exotic Meyer lemon marmalade, because Meyer lemons have a short season too and it seemed a nice idea. And just for good measure I had a slice of toast with the last of the 2012 marmalade, after giving a number of jars away and offering several to the last Well-Preserved preserve swap.

Having said all that, I do have high hopes of the current two batches, given that I actually read the recipe through this time and used the appropriate amount of sugar. We boiled the oranges in water first to soften them up, then removed the pits and white pulp and chopped the peel up pretty finely. Then came the second boil, with sugar, and then a water bath, because we wanted to be sure we hadn’t let any nasty bugs in when we were not looking. One jar broke cleanly between the base and the jar, leaving marmalade in the water. Either it was faulty, or it was sitting too close to the bottom of the canner and it didn’t like the heat. 😦

Seville orange marmalade
(Increased and adapted from “Jellies, Jams and Chutneys, Preserving the Harvest” by Thane Price)
9 Seville oranges
2 blood oranges
1 lemon
1 kg sugar

Simmer the fruit for an hour in 8 cups of water, moving the oranges around frequently to be sure they all get super-soft. Take them from the water, and let them cool down before quartering and removing the seeds and pith (and putting in a muslin bag) and slicing the peel as thinly or as thickly as you like.

Measure the water that’s left, and add liquid to make up 7.5 cups. Add the sugar, then the chopped up peel and fruit (as well as the tied-up bag of pits), and heat until the sugar has melted. Then bring to a fast boil for 15 minutes or so, until it’s thickened enough so that you can run a finger through a blob on a chilled plate without it running straight back together.

And it all looks so pretty, with the sun shining through in the background.

Luckily the casualty was a one of our 15 jars of  Seville marmalade rather than a Meyer lemon one, where we used the same marmalading principle, but got just 3-1/2 jars of the stuff.

Time will tell which one tastes best.

Now has anyone got any ideas of things to do with tart orange or lemon marmalade?

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