the last of the Meyer lemons
It's a rainy day in Shohola, PA. The ground is so saturated that great puddles stand on the lawn. Clearly no work is getting done in the garden this afternoon. Clearly, also, the Meyer lemons I brought back from CA 10 days ago must be used and used quickly. So, in an attempt to create sunshine on this gray day, I made Meyer Lemon Marmalade. (I promise this is the last of my gushing Meyer lemon posts. It has to be...I used up all the lemons.)
The ratio of lemons to water to sugar is 1:1:1. 10 lemons gave me 6 c. of chopped fruit, which is the maximum amount you should use (less is fine). When preserves are made in overly-large quantities, they may not jell. (It's a complicated balance between the amount of time it takes to thoroughly heat the fruit v. the amount of time the pectin bond survives high heat. If you want to know more about the science, leave a comment!)
Cut 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of each lemon, then slice the fruit in half vertically. Cut each half into several segments, about 1/4 inch thick. Remove and save the seeds and central pith. Cut each segment into small pieces and measure your fruit.
Combine the fruit with an equal amount of water in your jelly pan. Place seeds and pith in a jelly bag (or cheesecloth) and add this to the fruit, attaching the bag to the handle of the pan. Boil for 20-30 minutes, till fruit is tender. Eat a piece to test for done-ness; if it's chewy...keep cooking!
Remove pan from heat and remove pectin bag from fruit. Set aside until it's cool enough to handle, then squeeze the bag to remove pectin, which will be creamy in texture. You'll get about 2 Tbs.; stir this into the fruit mixture.
Add sugar (same amount as water and fruit) and return the mixture to the boil. At 15 minutes start checking for done-ness (although it may take as long as 25 minutes). Use whichever test you like: thermometer @ 220 F, spoon test, dish in the freezer test. Being the compulsive type, I do all three.
This made 10 x 1/2 pints of the best marmalade I've ever had. Michael says I should be more modest but when it's this good...what's the point?! You'd know I was faking it.