Making Lemon Marmalade
My dad has been doing the gardening thing since he retired, and lately we’ve all been seeing the, um, fruits of his labor. Literally.
My folks live on one and a half acres of land, most of which my dad has turned in garden and orchard. And while dad’s planted apples, pears, peaches, figs and pomegranates, since they live on the Gulf coast it’s the citrus that’s done the best. (My husband and I live in Central Texas, where the peaches, pears and pomegranates do better.) Sweet oranges as well as sour oranges and tangerines. Ruby red and golden grapefruits. Your standard lemons and limes as well as Key limes and Meyer lemons. When they fruit they do so with gusto and the tree branches are bent halfway to the ground.
It’s during the wintertime that all the citrus bears fruit so, during our holiday visit with my family, my husband and I picked nearly 150 pounds of sour oranges (great for making marmalade) and 30 pounds of Meyer lemons. I have a recipe for orange marmalade (that’s another post) that everyone seems to love and that is the reason for a marmalade-making party with friends (in order to acquire slave volunteer labor) this Saturday.
Fortuitously, the most recent issue of Fine Cooking magazine had a recipe for “lemon-ginger marmalade” that I thought would be perfect to try with some of the Meyer lemons:
The results? Um, epic FAIL. [sigh]
Unfortunately, I let the fruit cook a little too long and nearly all the liquid cooked away. I added some water, but quite possibly not enough and the sugar didn’t dissolve fast enough. In the end, though it all thickened nicely, the consistency is more like a jar of honey that’s starting to crystallize than a nice jelly or jam.
Actually, that may not turn out to be such a bad thing. I plan on trying my new Meyer lemon infused sugar concoction as a sweetener for tea (hot and iced). When I get my tea blog up and running you can read about the results of that experiement.