I know there has been a distinct lack of posts lately…school has been sucking up all my free time. I’m still cooking delicious things for myself, I just don’t have much time to even do dishes, much less blog. However, today is the last day of my spring “break” (a.k.a. work more but don’t go to class but still have tons of reading time period) and I promised folks (well, my mom at least) that I’d post about my Lemon Marmalade expedition before the end of break. This was actually my first attempt at legitimate canning. I feel pretty vindicated that it came out well!
As you saw in the previous post, I found some amazing lemons in my neighborhood. I think they’re lemon-orange hybrids (but not Meyer lemons). I pretty much literally went with the first recipe on Google, which was from About.com.
The major difference was that I added half a packet of Sure-Jell pectin to the fruit and water mixture because the reviews said it didn’t thicken up enough. I’d say you could add a quarter packet– half made it just a bit too jelly-like in my opinion. I also added in a bit more sugar and a few mandarins I had lying around as well just because I needed to use them up.
This recipe was not that easy, mostly because you had to try to get the zest without the pith and removing all the seeds (which the recipe doesn’t say to do, but it would be rather unpleasant if you didn’t). You also have to let it sit for a few hours and then simmer for quite a while longer. I did notice that you don’t have to let it sit for the full time indicated in the recipe in the fridge– at least with my lemons. It softened up just fine in a little less time. According to another recipe, it all doesn’t have to be so complicated…I’d be curious to try “Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories’ ” version of the recipe with oranges sometime.
The result was a zingy, slightly bitter, very delicious marmalade. It made 11 quarter pint jelly jars full– a select lucky few got them as gifts, but I’m keeping a few for myself. I’m anticipating making some apricot jam sometime in the future too, since we have a fruitful apricot tree in the backyard and now I know I can make jam!