A good friend of mine sent me the best Christmas present ever – a boatload of meyer lemons! Meyer lemons are the reason winter is bearable. You can use them in so many dishes that (to me) feel like summer – pies, freshly squeezed lemonade, and my favorite – marmalade. From the time I opened the box, all I could think about was getting these little beauties into jam jars. The problem was finding the time to do so.
For two weeks, I hauled them to clients’ houses with the intention of making marmalade while the short ribs were braising or the turkey was roasting only to find myself hauling them home. On the days I was home, I set them out in the morning to tend to when I had a spare moment. That moment never came. Eventually, I ended up packing them into my suitcase and taking them to my parents’ house for Christmas, determined not to let these lemons go to waste.
Once they made it down south, they were shuffled from my sister’s house to my parents’ house to my friend’s house and back to my parent’s house, every day going uncut because I was either missing a pan or the cheesecloth or the kitchen twine or the jars (who knew finding small jam jars would be such a challenge in South Carolina?). Finally after a week of relocating, these perfect little fruits were transformed into a sweet and tangy marmalade, and tucked into jam jars for safe keeping. With only one more trip ahead of them, these jars were destined to live in my pantry to liven up dishes all winter.
Sadly, by the time I finally made it back to NYC, I was down to only one jar (I ended up giving them to friends and family who probably don’t know how special these lemons are) which I left on my parents’ kitchen counter. After all that, I returned home with no marmalade.
But yesterday I stumbled across a bin of perfect meyer lemons at the market and stayed up late tonight to make the perfect marmalade for my breakfast for dinner supper club!
- 5 – 6 Meyer Lemons, thoroughly scrubbed
- 3 cups water
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- Cut the lemon in half lengthwise. Cut each lemon half lengthwise into three or four segments and remove any of the membranes (see note) and reserving them in a small bowl.
- Trim the pith and remove the seeds, placing them in the bowl with the reserved membranes.
- Thinly slice each segment into small wedges.
- Put all of the seeds, membranes and pith you removed from the lemons into a pouch made out of two layers of cheesecloth tied with cooking twine.
- Place the lemon segments, cheesecloth bag, and water into a large, wide pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 30 minutes or until the lemons are fork tender.
- Remove from heat and (using tongs) remove the cheesecloth pouch and transfer to a medium bowl to let cool.
- Once you can handle the pouch, give it a good squeeze to extract the pectin (it should look a little like a runny ricotta cheese) from the pouch and add it to the pan with the lemons.
- Add the sugar to the pan, give it a stir or two, and bring the lemons to a rolling boil over high heat. Once you’ve made marmalade a few times you’ll be able to tell when it is ready to set. But just to be safe, you can use a candy thermometer and boil until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F.
- Pour the hot marmalade into sterilized jars until almost full, leaving 1/2 inch at the top of the jars. Place the lid and jar ring on the jar and seal. The jars should
Notes: This recipe makes enough to fill four half pints jars. Place the pectin bag in the pot with the fruit pulp and secure to the pot handle.
See the excess piece of tissue on the top of the front segment of lemon – that’s the membrane. You can easily peel most of them off. Some pieces are buggers to peel so just leave them attached or they will rip apart the entire segment.
What you’ll need: A large saucepan, cheesecloth, kitchen twine, and some jam jars.
What you want to know: One tablespoon of marmalade is 40 calories, no fat, 16 grams of carbs, no protein, and 1/2 gram of fiber.