Meyer Lemon Marmalade
When my favorite produce is in season I tend to binge on it. Meyer lemons are in season right now and this recipe is the result of my current binge. This variety of mellow lemon, a cross between a lemon and a tangerine, is my favorite citrus fruit.
Meyer lemons may be used just like their more harsh cousin, the Eureka lemon. With their thin, fragrant skins, I actually find them superior to the common supermarket lemons. They are juicier and easier to squeeze. It’s the flavor that fascinates me the most. They are tart, just like the common lemon, but much less puckery.
This no-fail marmalade recipe is a perfect way to stash away the essence of this fruit for use when they are sadly out of season. Marmalades are tart/bitter fruit spreads that made from the entire fruit, peels and all. Most often they are made from a type of bitter orange, but any citrus fruit will work. The white bit of pith just under the colored portion of the peel is where the bitterness is located. Since the peel on a Meyer lemon is so thin, there is very little of this bitter pith, making them perfect for a marmalade that is less bitter than those made from other citrus fruits.
This marmalade is fool-proof. Because of the abundance of natural pectin found in the peel, no additional pectin is needed to gel the spread. The peel is easy to slice into very thin strips using a sharp knife and juicing the lemons is a snap, especially with one of these clever Mexican lime juicers (I found mine on Ebay).
Don’t worry if you’ve never made a jam or jelly before. This small-batch fruit spread is perfect for beginners and the end result is a jar of lemony sunshine that is delicious on toasted bread or English muffins.
Meyer Lemon Marmalade
12-16 Meyer lemons (approx 3 lbs)
3 cups sugar
5 half-pint canning jars with lids
Wash, dry and halve the lemons. Squeeze the juice and set aside. Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds from the halves. Roughly chop the pulp, discarding only the seeds, and set aside with the juice. Using a sharp knife, slice the peels 1/8 inch thick.
In a large saucepan, cover the strips with cold water and bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute. Drain the strips and rinse under cold running water. Blanch two more times; the final time, drain the strips but do not rinse them.
Return the strips to the saucepan. Add the reserved juice, pulp and the sugar. Bring to a boil then lower and simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until the marmalade slightly thickens, about 20-30 minutes. The marmalade will continue to set up as it cools.
Spoon the marmalade into five hot 1/2-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top, and close with the lids and rings. No need to process the marmalade if the jars are refrigerated and used within a few weeks. If you wish to store the marmalade for up to a year in your pantry, it should be processed by boiling the jars for 15 minutes in water to cover.