Friday, May 27, 2011

Lemon Drop

We are very lucky to have a small but high yielding Meyer lemon tree in our backyard. We have lemons available from it almost year round, and there are at least a couple of times a year that they start dropping off the tree faster than we can consume them or give them away. My husband has experimented with preserving lemons in salt, and we've enjoyed the end result of those efforts in savory salsas and sauces. Given my attempts to get a whole lot better at canning, I decided last week to try making my very first marmalade. While the recipe that I used is from a book that I own and isn't publically available, I was able to find a very similar (though more complicated) blueberry and Meyer lemon marmalade recipe that was inspired by the one from the book. In my case, cutting up the lemons after removing membranes and seeds was the most complicated part. Fortunately, the blueberries took a while to cook down and gave me plenty of time to tackle the lemons. 

Lots of tiny lemon pieces, simmering blueberries, and warming jars

The lemon seeds and membranes went into a makeshift cheesecloth bag (see top center of photo below), which was simmered in with the blueberries and lemon rinds in order to release pectin and thicken the batch. 

Getting the pectin out

It was a lot of work for five half-pint jars of marmalade, the first of which was gone in under 24 hours. We ate it on french toast, regular bread, and mixed into homemade yogurt. I guess when you've essentially got pie in a jar, you can't expect it to last very long.

French toast with fresh marmalade
This blog title is inspired by the song of the same name performed by Woody Herman and Ella Fitzgerald.

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