Meyer Lemon Marmalade

IMG_3604If you are a fan of marmalade you will love this one! Made with whole Meyer lemons, so no need to carefully peel the zest which is the main reason I don’t make marmalade, even though I love it. This also is made with honey instead of sugar so it’s even better.  This recipe is a version of one I saw in Marisa McClellan’s book “Naturally Sweet Food in Jars”, an entire book on preserving using mostly honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar – no white sugar in any of her recipes.  I want to try more of the recipes when the summer fruits start ripening.

IMG_3601I have made two batches, the first one I followed her recipe and it came out pretty runny, though it tasted delicious.  The second batch I made a few changes and it had a thicker consistency so I am offering that recipe here.  I ended up adding one pouch of liquid pectin to facilitate a thicker marmalade but I think if I had cooked it down even longer it may have been thick enough.  Sometimes I just want to get those preserves in the jars so I can taste them!  I also added a mandarin orange that needed to be used as it was getting a bit soft.  Since Meyer lemons are a cross between mandarins and lemons it enhanced the orange flavor just a bit.  Feel free to just use Meyer lemons if you don’t have a mandarin orange handy!  I think you could also use regular lemons but you might want to increase the sweetener since they are not as sweet as Meyer lemons.

IMG_3598For the canning process, just use a regular water bath, unless you are lucky enough to have one of those fancy pressure cooker canners.  It only takes 10 minutes to process half-pint jars, so the regular method doesn’t take very long.  If you are going to use it right away you can just put it in sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks.  Lemons are acidic enough so will last longer than other fruit jams, but make sure you keep it in the fridge once you open it, whether you use the boiling water bath method or not.

RECIPE for MEYER LEMON MARMALADE (makes 4 – 5 half pints)

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 lbs organic Meyer lemons (about 5 – 6 depending on size)
  • 1 Mandarin orange (optional)
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups water (save the water from boiling the lemons for this)
  • 1-2 cups honey (depending how tart or sweet you like it)
  • 1 packet of liquid pectin

Directions:

  1. First, gather your half pint jars, lids and canning equipment if you are planning to can the marmalade.  Carefully wash the jars and the lids in hot, soapy water and rinse well.  Set aside.IMG_3574
  2. Wash the outside of the Meyer lemons and Mandarin orange, put them in a large pot and cover with several inches of water.  They will float to the top until they start cooking, so they won’t actually be “covered” with water at first.IMG_3550
  3. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and let the fruit simmer 20 – 30 minutes.  You want the skins to be soft, but still intact.  They will look shriveled. Turn off the heat and let sit (keeping them in the water) until the lemons are cool enough to handle.
  4. While the lemons are cooling, you can prepare the water bath for canning.
  5. Carefully remove the lemons from the water (SAVE THE WATER) and put a strainer over a bowl while you cut them in half and remove all the seeds.  Let all the juices run into the bowl while you do this.
  6. Once the seeds are removed you can either put the lemon halves and their liquid into a blender or use an immersion blender (I like the latter method).  You are going to just blend at slow speed until the lemons fall apart but DO NOT BLEND them into a smoothie! You want small chunks of lemon peel in your marmalade.IMG_3567
  7. Pour the mixture into a nonreactive pot (enamel or stainless steel) and bring to boil. Add about 2 cups of the water you saved from boiling the lemons.
  8. Boil for a few minutes (maybe 10 minutes or so) until it begins to thicken, then add the honey, turn down the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until it thickens.  Taste and add a bit more honey or agave nectar if you want it sweeter.  If it is too thick add a bit more of your lemon water.IMG_3569
  9. After about 20 minutes it should start to thicken.  You can put a little bit on a small dish that you have put in the freezer for a few minutes.  If it is not very thick, you can add the pouch of liquid pectin and continue to simmer another 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Once the marmalade is ready (it will thicken a bit more when it cools), put your jars in the boiling water bath for a minute, then remove them and set on a towel next to your hot mixture.  Using a wide-mouth funnel, pour the jam into the jars leaving about a half inch of headspace.IMG_3585
  11. Fill all the jars, put on the lids and process for 10 minutes in the boiling water bath. Remove from bath and let cool.  IMG_3587Check all the lids to make sure they have sealed.  You do not have to refrigerate the jars if you canned them, but if you just put the marmalade into clean jars, let them cool before refrigerating.IMG_3589
  12. ENJOY your Meyer Lemon Marmalade with a thick slice of hearty toast or whole grain bagel.  This is also amazing on scones and makes a great Almond Butter and Marmalade sandwich! Yum, yum 😋IMG_3609
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