Citrus for the January Mastery Challenge

January 9, 2019

I’ve gotten a number of questions from folks about how to get started with the first challenge in this year’s Mastery Challenge. Before we dig into some possible recipes, I want to make a few things clear.

  1. The only requirement for participation in the Mastery Challenge is that you make something that falls under the umbrella of the monthly topic (this month, it’s citrus). There are no prizes and it doesn’t cost money to participate.
  2. This challenge is about learning, expanding and having fun. That’s why the monthly topics are so open and flexible. The intention is that you make some kind of preserve that can fall under broad monthly challenge.
  3. The recipe you choose doesn’t have to be water bath canned to count as your monthly project. It can be canned, fermented, dried, designed to be kept in the fridge for short term storage, or frozen for longer storage.
  4. The monthly challenges won’t be perfectly seasonal for everyone. It’s not possible to create a list that works for all people in all places. Try to think creatively about how to work within the topic.
  5. If you live in a place where the monthly topics are wholly inappropriate for your seasons (I see you, Southern Hemisphere folks), I invite you to grab a different topic from the list and try your hand at that.

For this month, we’re focusing on citrus and there’s simply a ton of opportunity within that category. You’re welcome to make a favorite citrus preserve or try something new to stretch your skills. I’ve pulled together a number of my favorite recipes below, but you are not limited to recipes I’ve written. Hit up your local library, find a recipe online, or if you feel comfortable doing so, invent your own.


Meyer lemon ginger marmalade
Fig Meyer lemon marmalade
Sweet cherry Meyer lemon marmalade (using frozen cherries is perfectly acceptable)
Lemon lime marmalade
Small batch marmalade (this is a technique recipe and can be used with a wide variety of citrus fruit)
Makrut lime marmalade
Small batch blood orange marmalade
Meyer lemon grapefruit marmalade
Small batch kumquat marmalade

Curds and Jams

Classic lemon curd
Honey sweetened Meyer lemon curd
Blood orange curd
Honey sweetened Meyer lemon jam
Grapefruit jam
Strawberry Meyer lemon jam
Meyer lemon lavender jam

Jellies, Shrubs, and Syrups

Meyer lemon syrup
Makrut lime syrup
Meyer lemon ginger concentrate
Blood orange shrub
Raspberry Meyer lemon shrub
Orange jelly
Honey sweetened rhubarb Meyer lemon cordial

Other Citrus Preserves

Preserved lemons
Preserved grapefruit with black pepper and cloves
Preserved key limes
Meyer lemon confit
Meyer lemon, garlic, and cilantro salt
Air dried lemon peel
Dehydrated lemon and lime slices

I also recommend you check out some of the round-up from the 2017 Mastery Challenge. There’s lots of good citrus ideas to be found in the marmalade and salt preserving round-ups.

Finally, the deadline for this first month of the challenge is Friday, January 25. I’ll have a submission form up next week.

15 responses to “Citrus for the January Mastery Challenge”

  1. For anyone interested in a savory, creamy condiment, check out Molly Steven’s Roasted Lemon Chutney recipe as shared on 101 Cookbooks. I think anyone would find it delicious, but for me, who can no longer eat eggs due to a worsening allergy, it’s a miracle. It reminds me of a lemony aioli, with a little pleasant but from the rind. I made it with Meyer lemon and garlic, and processed it until fairly smooth. I think it’s critical to season to taste as directed, I only added just enough honey to tame the bitterness without making it sweet in any way. I’m trying out freezing it and will let you know how it holds up.

  2. Hi great post. Just pointing out your word error – but from the rind rather than bite from the rind?



  3. I decided to take you up on this year’s challenge and use it as an excuse to make all those things I “say” I will do but never actually get around to! This month I have opted for preserved lemons. I bought some meyer lemons yesterday and cant wait to get started.

    There are just some times when you dont have a good looking lemon on hand (here in Indiana) and I am excited to pop these out of the fridge whenever I can. 🙂

  4. I am getting into several challenges this year. You have to finally move and change yourself, not just propagate proco-peration

  5. Challenge accepted – microwave mandarin marmalade. I’m pleased with the result but yield of only a single jar (and enough to eat immediately) was a bit disappointing.

  6. You convinced me to try one more marmalade esp when I saw the cherry recipe. I tried a strawberry lemon last winter.
    I didn’t have Bing cherries, but had sour cherries in my freezer that I picked in July. Having made full sugar sour cherry, I knew they would be sweet enough. I made the recipe the other night, and even used my candy thermometer. I have never used it in making jam. (I like fork tine/freezer plate metthod).
    The soaking of lemons and long cooking method gave great results. I like the flavor, even the peels, only miss the vivid red color of fresh cherries. Thank you

  7. I had a surfeit of peeled clementines from making a massive holiday-gifting batch of Clemen-cello (think Limoncello, but with clementine peel). After removing as much of the pith as possible, I cooked up several batches of this clementine jam: While the author had no canning instructions on her site, I’ve got some narrow-range pH paper from a prior foray into cheese-making, and the pH tested well below 4, so safe for canning!!. I found the ratio of 1 cup of sugar to 3 pounds of fruit marmalade-bitter, so in subsequent batches I increased the sugar to 1.5 cup. Turned out well, but I may have over-reduced the mix, since my jams came out quite firm.

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