Winter citrus season is winding down but there’s still time to put up some scrumpuous marmalade, which is variously defined as a citrus jam, jelly or preserve. These versions of the same basic formula take advantage of fancy fruits before they disappear from grocery shelves for another year.
Next up are Meyer lemons, which happily have become easier to get in recent years, although still seasonally limited. They make an excellent, custardy marmalade, close to lemon curd in taste and texture, but without the butter and eggs.
And while Meyer lemons are much sweeter than regular lemons, still and all they are lemons, so don’t expect to peel and eat them as you would an orange or grapefruit. So in my book, marmalade is the best way to go.
Both recipes work on the fruit/sugar/water ratio of 2/2/1. While some marmalade recipes call for an equal proportion of water, those take longer to cook and produce a stickier product. For bloods and Meyers I like a juicier, but still thick, result.
BLOOD ORANGE MARMALADE
Recipe makes 10 half-pint jars
10 blood oranges (to make 4 cups pulp and 2 cups chopped rind)
6 cups sugar
3 cups water
- Peel the oranges. Place the rinds in a pot and boil for 5 minutes, drain and reserve.
- Lightly chop the orange segments. Pick through to remove any seeds. (There shouldn’t be many). Place the fruit in the bowl of a food processor and chop until fine and frothy. Pour into a large measuring bowl.
- Place the boiled rinds in the processor, chop into fine bits. Add to the bowl with the fruit.
- Measure out the same volume of sugar as there is fruit and pulp. Add to a large heavy pot. Add half as much water as there is fruit and pulp to the pot. Stir.
- Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring, for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, the marmalade should be ready. Test by lifting a wooden spoon out of the boiling pot. The marmalade should drip off the spoon in separate drops or sheets. More about the spoon test and alternate freezer test here.
- Pour marmalade into sterilized jars, seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
MEYER LEMON MARMALADE
Recipe make 8 half-pint jars
8 Meyer lemons
4 cups sugar
2 cups water
- Peel the lemons. Slice the peels into little matchstick-shaped pieces. Put into a small pot of water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.
- Slice the peeled lemons and pick out all the seeds. Put the fruit and any accumulated juices into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a cutting blade. Process until thick and frothy.
- Add the chopped fruit to the boiled rinds and measure. This should be 4 cups. Put in a large, heavy pot with an equal amount of sugar, and half as much water as the fruit mixture.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring well to dissolve all the sugar. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring so that it doesn’t stick or scorch.
- The marmalade should thicken up after 20 minutes of cooking. Test with the spoon test or freezer test described here. If it still looks too runny continue to cook the batch for another 5- 10 minutes. Note: The marmalade will firm up more as it cools.
- Pour into prepared, sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.