Posts Tagged meyer lemons

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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Red, orange, yellow

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The beautiful thing about marmalade is that it’s not just oranges, although I admit Seville oranges are still my go-to classic.

But there were four Seville oranges left over from the marmalade making last week, Meyer lemons available in the stores and space in the pantry. Time to find the reddest blood oranges and mix them with the Sevilles, and then dabble around with internettery to find a one-day recipe for Meyer  marmalade. For the first time we didn’t skimp on the sugar and and I have to admit it worked better that way. I do like a bitter marmalade, but the last batch veered a notch too far in that direction, and the blood oranges added sweetness, as well as a glorious red.

Here, roughly speaking, is what we did.

Meyer lemon marmalade
(We based this on the recipe from Leite’s Culinaria but doubled the quantities and went for boil rather than a simmer. It was a little fiddly, with three different ways to prep the lemons, but it’s a good, firm set.)
14 Meyer lemons
4 generous cups sugar

First prep the lemons. Chop 8 in quarters, remove the seeds and save them in a cheesecloth bag, and slice your lemon quarters nice and fine, peel and all. Peel 4 lemons and cut out the segments, removing and saving the pits (and saving them) as you do so. Squeeze out as much juice as you can, and put the remaining membranes and the pits in that cheesecloth. Discard the peel. Juice the last two lemons and save those pits as well.

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Cover the sliced lemons with water and boil for 2-3 minutes to remove some of the bitterness. Drain, and save the liquid to jazz up a regular marmalade (see below).

Heat two cups of water  gently with all the lemon juice until the sugar dissoloves, and then add the sliced fruit and the lemon segments. Bring to a full boil and boil hard until it thickens — it took maybe 20 or 25 minutes. Bottle and waterbath.

Blood orange/Seville marmalade
4 Seville oranges
4 blood oranges
2 lemons
1.3 kg sugar

Wash the fruit and then simmer in 7 cups of water until it’s squidgy soft, chop in quarters, allow to cool a little and then scoop out the seeds and pith (which is what makes the marmalade set) and save that gunk in a cheesecloth bag.

Chop peel as finely as you like, and then add to the pot with the remaining water (make it up to five cups with extra water if you need to) and the sugar and then boil for 15 minutes or so until it sets. We used the leftover water from boiling the Meyer marmalade to top up our orange water, and that added another layer of taste.

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Bottle in sterilized jars. Waterbath for 10 minutes.

Pictured at the top of the page (from the left): whisky/Seville; blood orange/Seville; Seville; Meyer lemon.

Every shade of red, orange and yellow in a jar.

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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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Meyers and mandarins

I skimmed through a blog posting a while back on a way to preserve mandarin oranges, peel and all, and turn them into something that looked like the perfect end to a heavy holiday season meal. But of course I didn’t bookmark it, so it was back to Google to search through a surprisingly large number of recipes for candied satsuma orange peel, and surprisingly few for the fruits themselves. I rejected one recipe that drew parallels between home-canned mandarin orange segments and the commercial ones I remember embedded in an orange jelly (jello) when I was growing up, and I rejected another because there seemed to be too much focus on red wine, and not enough on oranges.

But then I found a post from the wonderfully named Thyme on my side blog which was probably the recipe I coveted right at the start. She calls her clementines candied — I think syruped might be a better moniker — but what’s a word or two between friends. I was out of vanilla beans, so chose ginger and cardamon as my flavorings. I used mostly organic fruit — fewer chemicals and preservatives, I hope. Here is what I did.

Clementine oranges in ginger syrup

1,5kg organic clementines, washed and sliced very thin, peel and all (throw away the ends, which are all peel, and no fruit)
1/2 cup chopped up crystalized ginger
2 cups water
3-1/2 cups sugar
a few green cardamon pods

Heat the sugar, water and spices gently until the sugar has dissolved, then add the fruit and simmer until the oranges are tender — it took about 12 minutes.

Bottle in sterilized jars, packing the fruit in first and then covering with syrup to within 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Water bath for 15 minutes (for 500 ml jars).

It made 3 jars, and there was enough syrup left over that I chopped up four Meyer lemons and boiled them up, which left me with one small jar of lemons in syrup, and half a jar of leftover syrup.

The oranges will go on cake, or on icecream. But like Lacey, I’m as stoked about the leftovers as I ever was about the jar. My half jar of syrup is bitingly tart, but gloriously tasty, with a lemon-orange taste and a gentle hint of ginger.

Now where did I put that recipe for lemon ginger thyme cake, and can I throw this on the top as a syrup?

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Meyer lemon … marmalade

I don’t get this one at all, but one day after the making, that Meyer lemon syrup had turned to an almost perfect marmalade, with a serious bite and deliciously chewy chunks of peel. Time for a few recent ratings from some of the more recent jars we opened.

Lemon meyer marmalade: 4-1/2 (out of five)
It loses half a point for panicking me for a day of the making-it process

Lime pickle: 4 (out of 5)
Nice bite, lovely taste, if a little spicy for me. But I’m not sure what I’m going to use it for. Mind you, the recipe did say wait at least a week, so maybe I should wait a little longer

Grapefruit marmalade: 3 (out of 5)
Nice, but nothing special. I’m trying it with home made rice pudding today, which might work better than the marmalada peanut butter sandwich I had yesterday. Mind you, this is last year’s grapefruit marmalade. Do these things age? Will the one we made on Saturday taste better once we get around to eating it?

Apple date chutney: 4 (out of 5)
Nice, solid, tasty, spicy chutney. Very smooth, which is a little disconcerting, and I will add a notch more spice next time.

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Meyer lemon … syrup

I’m going to blame the internet for this one, or perhaps absent canning buddy for storing all the recipe books while we completed the Great Renovation Project I wrote about over in the other blog. But I got myself confused with two different internet recipes today, and created something that tastes lovely, but is definitely not a jam. The idea was to do something with Meyer lemons, which have hit a few of the Toronto stores, although friend and I wavered between an internet recipe that added oranges and one that added pectin. Not quite sure how the confusion started, but I think we added water for the first, sugar for the second and lemons from God only knows where, and no amount of boiling seemed able to transform the resulting concoction from watery mess to proper, well-set marmalade. The peel is floating irritatingly at the top, and the liquid is barely a syrup, although I had this vague hope that it might set a little as it cooled.

It didn’t. Clearly drastic measures were called for.

Introducing my regular lemon ginger cake, with Meyer lemon syrup drizzled over the top to add moisture and a bite.

Now I only have 4-1/2 jars of the concoction to use up.

Bizarre next day update: overnigjht the marmalade set.. Not a firm set, but definitely a set. Curious.

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