I’m back! Yes, I took an inexcusably long hiatus from this blog, I agree (and so soon after starting it!) What can I say? Life got very, very busy (there will be some major life changes headed my way later this year). This isn’t to say that I stopped making and photographing food over the last few months – if anything, I’ve been partaking in more kitchen adventures than ever before! With the easy accessibility of Twitter, I’ve also been writing about what I’ve been eating, as well as sharing countless thoughts and ideas with an inspiring community of like-minded food lovers. But! I’m ready to get back into blogging, and have many ideas up my sleeve for Sweet Pepper, so stay tuned!
I’m not a big fan of cold, gray New England winters, but the silver lining to these chilly, dark months, in my opinion, is the availability of interesting and lovely varieties of citrus (calamansi, kumquats, Buddha’s hand, and Seville oranges have been some recent favorites). And every winter, I very predictably fall in love with Cara Cara oranges and Meyer lemons all over again. Last weekend, I made Cara Cara orange curd, which I hope to write about soon. I’ve used Meyer lemons in curd, cakes, tarts, and numerous savory dishes. But today, I want to talk about Meyer lemon marmalade. A dear friend recently presented me with a small armload of Meyer lemons, and after tasting that same friend’s luscious version of Seville orange marmalade, I felt inspired to make my own, but with the fragrant little lemons, instead.
Meyer Lemon Marmalade, loosely adapted from Simply Recipes
2 cups of scrubbed, thinly-sliced Meyer lemons (I used 6 smallish ones), seeds and ends removed and set aside (note: I cut mine in half lengthwise first, then sliced the lemons into thin half-moons)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
(note: any amount of Meyer lemons can be used here - just keep in mind that the lemons, sugar, and water should be in a 1:1:1 ratio)
Remove from heat. Place reserved seeds+ends into a small pot and cover with liquid from the lemon mixture. Bring to a boil and allow too cook for 20 minutes. Strain seeds and ends out of the liquid and add the liquid to the original pot of lemons (the lemon seeds contain pectin, which helps the marmalade thicken and set, eventually).
Add sugar to the mixture and simmer over medium-high heat, at a fairly rapid boil, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees, which can take anywhere from 25-30 minutes. You can test the temperature with a candy thermometer, or by the "plate" test (stick a plate in the freezer, drop a small dollop of the marmalade onto the cold plate to see if it "wrinkles" under your finger - if it does, the marmalade is done!) The marmalade should start to take on a slightly deeper color by the end of the cooking period.
During the second phase of cooking, you can sterilize some glass jars and lids. Heat jars in a 200 degree oven for at least 10 minutes. Cover lids with boiling water. When the marmalade is ready, ladle it into the jars and and quickly cover with lids. Listen for the "pop" of a vacuum seal (if this doesn't happen, you'll need to keep the marmalade refrigerated). Enjoy!!