Saturday, February 5, 2011

When a Friend of Yours Gives You a Bazillion Lemons, Part III

Finally, I was successful in getting good-tasting marmalade to set!
It's still a little more liquid than I'd like it to be, but after a taste test (on some freshly baked bread), I determined that this batch - #3 of lemon, #4 overall - is going to count as real lemon marmalade and NOT a failed attempt.
Of course, since we still have lemons, I'll be tweaking things in a fifth go around.  But, basically, I used this recipe as my starting point, modifying from what I've learned in previous attempts:

  • Instead of letting the lemons and water sit overnight, I had them sit for four nights (it was supposed to be three, but I went out with a friend last night), changing the water each night.  This is in a similar vein to what one would do in order to candy lemon peel, although I didn't boil the lemons.
  • I added an extra cup of sugar to the ratio; I had 8 cups of the lemon-water combo, so I had nine cups of sugar.
  • The recipe didn't call to have a cheesecloth with the piths and seeds, but I did include this in order to increase the amount of pectin; this was mostly due to my terror of yet another batch not setting up.

Next time, I need to cut the lemons into fourths rather than half, as the rinds were a little long.  But overall, I am extremely pleased with the outcome; I have never been a fan of marmalade, but right now, I am trying to decide how many half-pint jars I can justify keeping.

Freshly baked bread slathered with butter and marmalade:
I can't really think of a better dessert.

Left to right:
lemon marmalade,
grapefruit syrup,
rhubarb lemon chile preserve
So far, I've been able to make the lemon marmalade, the grapefruit marmalade-come-syrup, and a rhubarb lemon chile preserve that is going to be awesome with cheese and crackers.  I also started the process of making limoncello, which will net the results in about three more months, and I tried to make that Shaker lemon pie; I would be willing to give that a second go.  I still have plans to make lemon curd with scones and some preserved lemons.  And what about the grapefruit?  I'm thinking candied peels with the remains from some tasty breakfast sides.

1 comment: