Monday, January 30, 2012

One more might be the last you'll ever need!

Citrus citrus everywhere…our trees are exploding, the farmers markets are full, even our CSA box has a modicum of these juicy bits of sunshine. And I am surely doing my part to either eat or preserve as much as I can. And through it all I seem to have developed a bit of a marmalade obsession. I want to try new combinations of fruit. Get the color and consistency just right. Make a marmalade that, quite frankly, would be hard to live without. So in my truly research obsessive way, I have read more recipes for this lovely spread than there are types of fruit and have come to the conclusion that EVERYONE does it differently and EVERYONE has their own idea of what the perfect marmalade might be like…quite well jelled/rather runny, chunky rind/thin slivers, soft peel/crunchy peel, very tart/very sweet…well you get the picture. So I set out to create my perfect marmalade. A recipe that could be sort of a master. A recipe that one could change out the fruit indiscriminately, add herbs, peppers or liquor and still come up with…perfect marmalade. This has been a true test kitchen project. The first thing I determined was that, with few exceptions, the volume of fruit and the volume of sugar are the same. For me the weight was 3 ¾ LBS. fruit and sugar. If I used these quantities, plus water, I could make enough marmalade to fill 12 of my 190ML jars. I also gleaned from various recipes that if you make a sort of cooked juice from part of the fruit,
and use that as part of your liquid you can get a very intense fruit flavor. Lastly, lots of slow cooking creates good fruit consistency and a lovely consistency of jelly. I then set about applying this ‘formula’ to all manner of citrus…and low and behold…it worked! So here you go, one of my personal favorites Honey Meyer LemonMarmalade…
Honey Meyer Lemon Marmalade
Aprox. 12 - 190 ML jars

3 ¾ LBS Meyer Lemons
¾ LB Honey
3 LB Sugar

Cut 2 ¼ LBS lemons in half crosswise, half lengthwise and then cut into thin slices to create little ½ rounds. Put the slices and their juice into a nonreactive pan, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling remove from heat, cover with a lid and set aside.

Meanwhile, cut the remaining 1 ½ LBS of lemons into eighths. Put them in a nonreactive pan, cover with enough water so that the wedges float. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Gently press down on the citrus every half hour or so to help release juices. When finished cooking remove from heat and strain juice through a strainer, being sure to press out every last drop of juice, then strain a second time through a fine sieve, cool.

Now, over high heat, reheat the lemon slices to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until soft.

Place 3 spoons on a plate in the freezer for testing ‘set point’…To test set point: take a frozen spoon from the freezer, scoop a small amount of the boiling marmalade from the pan, place back in the freezer on the plate and wait about 3 minutes, then remove the spoon, push the marmalade with your finger, if it is a nice jellied consistency the marmalade is ready.

In a bowl, combine sugar, honey, cooked juice, fruit slices and their juice. Transfer to a large nonreactive pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook at a rolling boil for aprox. 50 minutes - to the set point. Turn off heat, skim off any foam, and let marmalade rest for 10 minutes. Fill your jars and process.

The honey flavor is subtle, but definitely there…and don’t limit this marmalade to toast or peanut butter…it is lovely with goat cheese and cracker paired with some nice crisp white wine. Enjoy!

A one size fits all marmalade recipe? on Punk Domestics

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