Recently, my local supermarket had a great deal on unwaxed lemons so I bought a couple of nets not knowing really what I would do with them (Lemon drizzle cake is the best cake in the world to my mind but no body else here is as keen on it as I am so it’s not wise to make a whole one just for me – I only make it when we have visitors coming!).
I spent a bit of time trawling through cookery books before deciding that the best thing would be to have a go at making some lemon marmalade.
So, here’s how I got on!
Lemon Marmalade Recipe
1kg unwaxed lemons, washed
2kg granulated sugar
2.4 litres water
You will also need a piece of muslin (about 12″ sqaure), a large preserving pan and about 8 x 1lb (454g) clean jam jars, which I sterilised by putting them onto the oven for a few minutes.
Making the Maramalade
The first thing I needed to do was to juice all of the lemons. Having cut them in half I made use of the juicer attachment on my food processor, which proved to be a very quick and efficient way of doing this part of the job!
The juice goes into the preserving pan along with the water. Now, to deal with the skins! The membrane has to be removed but the white pith must be left on the skin as this contains the pectin which will make the marmalade set. To make this job easier I cut each lemon half in half again to make quaters.Using a sharp knife I eased the membrane away from the skin and pulled it away quite easily. This took a bit of time as there are quite a few lemon quarters to get through! The membrane and all of the pips were then put into the middle of the muslin square and tied up with string.
Next the skins had to be cut into thin strips. I found this easiest to do with the white pith side facing upwards, it seemed to help the knife cut through much easier. When all of the skins were done they were added to the pot. The muslin parcel was attached to the handle of the pan and it was time to cook!
The pan containing just the water, lemon juice, lemon peel and the muslin bag containing the pips and membranes was brought to the boil and then simmered until the peel was soft and the liquid had reduced by half, which took about 2 hours in all.
Now the muslin bag had to be squeezed to get as much of the liquid out of it as possible. Naturally, this was rather difficult seeing as it was so hot so I turned of the heat and left things to cool for a little while until I could just about squeeze the muslin without burning a hole in my hands!
The final stage was now here! I added the sugar to the pan and turned the heat back on to slowly dissolve the sugar. Once I was sure that it was completely dissolved i turned the heat right up to bring the marmalade to the boil and allowed it to boil for 20 minutes.
While this was happening I put a saucer into the fridge ready to test to see if setting point had been reached.
After 20 minutes I put a teaspoon of the marmalade onto the cold saucer and put it back in the fridge for 2 minutes. After that time, if the surface of the marmalade wrinkled (which it did) I knew that it would set in the jars.
Finally, the marmalade was ready to put into the warm jars. I used a jam funnel to make this job much easier! On with the lids and allow to cool before storing away in the pantry…but not before trying it spread thickly on a piece of homemade wholemeal toast of course!