I’ve never been a fan of marmalade. I think maybe I’d tried some when I was a kid and the slight bitterness of it turned me off. I probably had it at my maternal grandparents’ house. They were English, so, you know, they were required by law to have at least one jar of marmalade (MAAHHM-uh-lade) in the house at all times. I think I tried orange.
But last month, when I was scrambling to make Christmas gifts for people, I came upon a recipe for Lemon-Ginger Marmalade, and it sounded really interesting. I’ve got an English cousin living nearby, and I figured he and his family (the rest of whom are Yanks), might like it…maybe my mother…and I forget who else I gave a jar to.
So I made it. And this morning, just before I started typing this post, I opened the one remaining jar, made some toast, and tried it.
It’s good stuff!
There was a lot of prep work – peeling and slicing lemon rind, grating fresh ginger. I did all that one evening and made the marmalade the next morning.
The rest of the ingredients included lemon juice, sugar (or course), powdered pectin, baking soda, and water. Pretty simple.
First up – blanching the lemon zest in water and baking soda. Actually, it’s more than blanching – you boil it gently for 5 minutes. I believe the purpose here is to soften the zest and remove any remaining bitterness, just in case you left any of the white pith on there.
After that, you add in the juice and grated ginger, and then quickly stir in the pectin.
You bring this mixture up to a boil over high heat, stirring, and then dump in all the sugar. Bring it back to a boil and boil it hard (so you can’t stir down the frothing) for about a minute.
Skim off the foam, ladle it into jars and process according to the directions (which are at the end of the post).
I ended up with five 12-ounce jars. The recipe says it makes seven 8-ounce jars, but I didn’t have any jars that size. (I know, poor planning on my part.)
Pretty, aren’t they?
So as I said, this morning I made some toast and opened our jar of marmalade.
You can see some of the zest, and right at the top of the picture a tiny bit of papery ginger skin that slipped by me while I was grating. Ah well. That proves it’s real.
I took a bunch of pictures of the marmalade on the toast…
From various angles and vantage points…
And once I figured I had enough shots, I took a bite.
Very lemony and gingery – delicious stuff. My taste buds have either matured or it’s just plain better than whatever I’d tried years ago.
I’m thinking this would also be good as a glaze on fish or maybe chicken…with rice…and steamed pea pods…or edamame…or asparagus.
Anyway, that’s another of the food gifts I made last month. I think I’m going to have to make other marmalades in the future.
In case you’re interested, the recipe is below.
Lemon Ginger Marmalade
(from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)
makes about seven 8-ounce jars
6 small lemons
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup coarsely grated gingerroot (about 12 oz)
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
6 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove yellow lemon peel in long strips. Cut peel into thin slices. Set peel and fruit aside separately.
3. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine reserved lemon peel, baking soda and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 5 minutes, until peel is softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut white pith from lemons. Working over a large bowl to catch juice and using a small, sharp knife, separate lemon segments from membrane. Place segments in bowl and squeeze membrane to remove as much juice as possible, collecting it in the bowl. Discard membrane and seeds. Measure 1 cup lemon segments and juice. Add to softened rind mixture with gingerroot. Whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
5. Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot marmalade. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.