Meyer lemons are a large part of what make the winter months bearable for me. Smooth-skinned, mildly tart, and with a fresh, slightly floral fragrance, they bring a welcome brightness to February (particularly this month. Every time the weather report predicts more snow, I feel ready to weep).
Over the years, I think I’ve done nearly everything that one can do with a Meyer lemon. I’ve preserved them in salt, turned them into curd, chopped and sliced into marmalade, dehydrated them, made jelly with their juice, and packed the zest into both salt and sugar.
I think this whole fruit jam might be my final meyer lemon frontier. I’d been thinking along these lines for a while and then Shae over at Hitchhiking to Heaven posted a similar whole fruit jam using grapefruit and it cemented the deal for me.
Because I find that honey sweetened preserves are best done in small batches, I started with just one and a half pounds of lemons. I put them in a saucepan where they’d fit in a single layer and added some water (you need two cups of water to make the jam, so I started with a bit more than that to account for evaporation).
I simmered the lemons for about 25 minutes, until the were tender but not falling apart and then I left them in the pot for a day because life got busy. Had my fridge not been packed to the gills, I would have poured them into a container and popped them in there, but there just wasn’t room.
When I was ready to cook, I put the lemons in the blender with two cups of the cooking water and pulsed until they were broken into relatively small pieces but not uniformly pureed (I wanted some texture). The puree went into a low, wide pan with two cups of honey (approximately one half of the meyer lemon mixture by weight). Cooked over high heat, it was setting up nicely in just 15 minutes.
I’m really pleased with the way this jam turned out. It shows off all the charms of the meyer lemon, is pleasingly bracing, and manages to avoid being over-sweet. I also love the fact that it skips all the work of a traditional batch of marmalade. I still have a few meyer lemons left and am planning to make a second batch.
Updated to add: I’ve gotten some questions about the seeds. Meyer lemons are a hybrid fruit, so they typically don’t have many seeds. I used a small slotted spoon to skim them out of the jam during cooking. If your lemons are seedier than mine, cut them in half and remove the seeds before pureeing.
Honey Sweetened Meyer Lemon Jam
- 1 1/2 pounds meyer lemons
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 2 cups honey
- Wash the lemons and place them in a saucepan that can hold them in a single layer. Cover them with the water and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the lemons for 25 minutes, until the skins are tender but still hold together.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let the lemons cool completely.
- Place the lemons in a blender carafe and add two cups of the cooking water.
- Blend at low speed to break up the lemons. Take care not to puree them entirely smooth.
- Pour the lemon mix into a low, wide pan and add two cups of honey (choose something mild in flavor so that it doesn't overpower the lemons).
- Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to medium-high.
- Cook, stirring regularly, until the jam thickens and sheets off the back of your spoon or spatula. You can tell it's nearly completion when it hisses and spits when you stir. My batch took all of 15 minutes of vigorous boiling to achieve set, but times will vary.
- When jam is finished cooking, remove pot from heat.
- Funnel jam into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel.
OMG that looks delicious!!! I have to try this. If the grocery store was open now, I’d be over there sniffing lemons LOL
Ha! This was my reaction *exactly*. As soon as I can find meyer lemons at the grocery store, this is ON.
Why I had to read this at almost midnight when the store is closed to buy the lemons I’ll never know! But—this looks amazing and very easy! Can I just put the jars in the fridge & not water bath them?
What about the seeds? All Meyer lemons have mega amounts of seeds.
Meyer lemons actually shouldn’t have many seeds at all because they are a hybrid fruit. Mine only had four or five seeds per piece of fruit. I skimmed them off as I cooked.
my meyer lemons have mega amounts of seeds too.
My Meyers (from Lemon Ladies) fell into two camps – some had almost none, others had lots. No middle ground!
Um, what are you doing with the seeds?
Meyer lemons don’t typically have many seeds. I skimmed the few that bobbed to the surface off the jam as it cooked.
Something else I learned on what to do with lemons. I sure didn’t know that a person could make jam from lemons. Nothing better than having a Meyer lemon.
I need to check my grocery flyers and see if anyone has lemons on sale this week. :}
Thanks for the recipe
Make sure you’re using a thin skinned lemon like a meyer. Regular, thick skinned lemons may not work as well.
Wow! I’m putting this recipe in my back pocket (er, pinterest) until I get more of a honey harvest….hopefully this fall! Thank you!
I need to try this! I made your Meyer Lemon Curd, which turned out perfectly, and was delicious. Lemon things are my absolute favorite!
No pectin? I have been using Pomona Pectin to make jam with honey and no surgar. But your rrecipe does not call for pectin at all?
Meyer lemons have enough naturally occurring pectin that no additional is needed.
What would you think of adding a touch of ginger? I love it with citrus but have not used it with meyer lemons.
I think that would be delicious!
It’s tomorrow’s project; I will let you know how it turns out.
Made the jam with a tablespoon of grated fresh ginger — it definitely could have handled more. I did have a seed issue and found myself picking many seeds out of the puree and jam. Luckily I processed the lemons in two batches so on the second, I cut the lemons in half and pulled out the seeds before blending. Much simpler.
The jam is lovely — a bit tart, like a marmalade and since I have had a tough time with marmalades (they have come out too firm — almost like candy — or syrupy), I am very happy with this technique.
Thanks for shouting out my grapefruits, Marisa! I think this is a great illustration of one of the best things about jam — there are so many good ways to do it. I have a recipe for whole-fruit Meyer honey jam (now linked from the grapefruit post) that comes to a similar end in a very different way. I prep the fruit to remove the core and seeds (my Meyers are plenty seedy), but I’m curious about this way, too. I wonder if cooking the fruit without cutting it and using more honey, as you have, leads to a richer texture. I have more Meyers on my two little trees, and now I want to try a batch this way to compare.
Hmmm…I’m going to try this technique with limes. I have a ton of limes from my backyard tree and they have zero seeds.
I recently made a Citrus Jelly (lemon and grapefruit) using Kevin West’s recipe from Saving the Seasons. A great way to use up rinds when you’ve used the juice/pulp for other things.
I made it with ripe limes. Delish! Tart and sweet at the same time. My limes have a thin skin and very little white pith so they worked perfectly.
I checked off most of your (was it) “10 things to do with Meyers Lemons” and having attempted mostly successfully, but this is a new one. Will have to try it. Like Lori with the ginger, i am thinking an herb either mint or basil and/or Lavender. BUT only with half. The other half, natural! Okay find me some Meyers, which have been relatively scarce this winter.
I thought about lavender too. maybe half with and half plain.
I can just imagine how this would taste and I will find out. Question: would this recipe translate to blood oranges? With honey? They are so good right now.
My box of organic Meyer lemons arrives on Tuesday. I am going to try this, your Meyer lemon marmalade and a batch of limoncello. And curd. Thanks for the recipes.
do you store this in the fridge or can you store on the shelf?
Like all preserves that are processed in a boiling water bath, this jam is shelf stable until the seal is broken. Once you open the jar, it must be stored in the refrigerator.
sorry I missed that in the directions.
I’m not a big fan of honey, but love citrus jams, any idea how much sugar or another type of sweetener you would use?
I’m also interested in making this with sugar in place of honey if anyone has advice on that… Just because I always have organic sugar but not usually honey on hand. Also, am wondering if using honey affects the shelf life?
If you want to make this jam with sugar, just use half as much sugar as lemon pulp. I like to measure by weight in this case. Put your jam pan on a scale and zero it out. Pour the lemon pulp into the pan and note how much it weighs. Divide that number by half. Zero out the scale again and weigh out the proper amount of sugar. Cook and can as instructed.
When you refer to the “lemon pulp” here, you mean with the water already added, correct?
I would think the honey doesn’t affect the shelf life as honey never spoils. It and mustard are one of the few foods that never spoil so I’m told.
Made this last night and it is lovely. Pleasantly tart and a deep, gorgeous color. Yum!
We’ve had a Meyer lemon tree for a few years now – it was an engagement present from some of my husband’s friends. Until last year, we were living in an apartment and the cockatoos used to take to the bush each year, just as the fruit was growing. Since moving into our house, the birds haven’t been at all attracted to it – and now I have a tree full of fruit. If all goes well and I get the fruit the tree is promising, I’ll definitely try some of this jam – it looks great. Thanks for the recipe.
This is going on my to-do list… the next time I can find Meyer lemons. They are rare as unicorns in my city! Fortunately, I believe in unicorns….
Im wondering if you could use agave in place of honey? Does one use Agave for jamming and preserving?
I don’t have a whole lot of experience using agave in place of honey. You could try it, but I can’t promise what your results will be!
I don’t have enough honey, How much sugar for a cup of honey?
ahh, just read the earlier post on the weight of sugar … well, I have it all ready in the pan but will wait till tomorrow when I get more honey.
I just zest end a ton of Meyer lemons for limoncello, do you think this would work with the zestless lemons?
It won’t be nearly as flavorful with zestless lemons.
I tried a batch yesterday – tasted it this morning. Kind of a bitter edge to it from the skins. I’m not sure about it, husband wasn’t thrilled but I will try it out on my friends (they’re used to being test subjects) and see what the verdict is. We have a dwarf Meyer that is covered with ripe lemons, plus more setting every day.
I made seven (yes, seven) batches last week (someone dumped 40 pounds of Meyer lemons on my porch — this is the kind of thing that happens during peak Meyer lemon season in Northern California). I like a little bitterness, but to buffer the bitterness I added a little bit of salt (I didn’t measure, but somewhere between a half and a whole teaspoon). One of the things I’ve learned from Chinese cuisine is that salt makes bitter things taste less bitter, and the amount I used wasn’t enough to add any perceptible saltiness. I also found that the longer I left the lemons sitting in the cooking water the more bitter it was, so while you can cook them and leave them to cool overnight, if bitterness is a concern I would separate the lemons from the cooking liquid if it was going to sit more than a couple of hours.
I harvested my lime tree this weekend and I’m going to try this with the limes. I hope it’s as delicious as the lemon version!
The lime version was excellent as well. I love being able to avoid the muss and fuss of making marmalade.
Did two batches. Not so sure about it. I like the tart/sweet/bitter taste a lot (tastes like a British marmalade) but may have too much bitter for many folks. Also, the final product takes on the color of the honey. The batch using a light honey looks better then the batch using a darker honey. Finally, there is so much pectin naturally in the lemon rinds that (f you cook by temp take it off the heat between 216 and 218 degrees not 220.
I made a super small batch of this last week, and it is absolutely lovely. I have been enjoying it on my morning toast all week long.
I like marmalade, but for me this was way too….bitter??? I used Meyer Lemons and followed the recipe exactly, but I kept tasting as it cooked and it was very acrid to me, so I did end up adding a touch more sugar. I think if I had it to do over, I would have used the peel, but scraped much of the interior out of them. Also I had many seeds to pick out. I hope if I can find more of them, I would like to try your Lemon Curd recipe with them the next time.
I just made this….holy buckets is this amazing! I can’t wait to make some whole wheat crepes with this for the family tomorrow morning!
As for comments about the seeds… I let the lemons cool, cut them long-ways before putting them in the food processor. This allowed me to spoon out almost all seeds before cooking, and it only added about five min to the process.
Since I usually make freezer jam can I skip the Canning and just put it in the freezer?
Can I substitute light agave for the honey, in the same proportion?
I’ve never tried it, but I do imagine it would work. I can’t make any guarantees, though.
You should really try Darina Allen’s marmalade recipe. I have tried it with Seville oranges and blood oranges and both have worked wonderfully. Super easy. It is similar this whole lemon recipe. She cooks the fruit whole, lets it cool, slices it, then proceeds with the marmalade making.
Thank you so much for this lovely recipe. I am so looking forward to my first case of meyer lemons, and want to use raw honey in most of the things I make. I will definitely make this!
I have a small Meyer Lemon tree in my backyard and this has been a bumper crop year. I have a batch of Limoncello started, made a double batch of Meyer Lemon curd today and just found your recipe for Honey Sweetened Meyer Lemon Jam…..Tomorrow is a new day and I now have another treat to make. Thanks
Just did this with clementines. Holy This Is Better Than Crack Batman! Thanks!
Marisa – I adore this jam! Like pretty much everyone else who loves the tartness of marmalade, I hate the time consuming prep required…this makes for a huge shortcut with delicious result! I did a little half batch just to see if I’d like it, and I think I’ll be whipping up some more before meyer season is done – maybe doing a meyer lemon chutney of some sort. I did make a tiny alteration and added 2 T of butter at the end, just to smooth out some of the bitter edges a bit, and then just increased the processing time to ensure safety of the final product. Can’t wait to make some scones or biscuits this weekend to eat with this one!
Honey weighs 12 ounces per cup.
So two cups weigh 1.5 pounds. The same weight as the lemons.
So your statement in the recipe to use 1/2 the weight of the
lemons is off.
When doing citrus marmalade it is always good idea to blanch the rind.
The bitter flavor compounds in the pith are water born.
The other citrus flavors that you want to capture in the preserve are oils, not easily
removed by the blanching process
Good Jammin 2 U
Hey Darrell! No where in this post do tell you to use half as much honey as lemon. I am aware how much a cup of honey weighs. In other recipes will often recommend a two to one ratio, but in this one, the one to one ratio works best.
Thank you for your lovely Meyer Lemon Jam recipe. I finished my batch this afternoon and the only thing I did differently was to remove the seeds after the lemons had cooled. Jam is a tiny bit tart but that suits me just fine.
Can’t wait to try your recipe on an English muffin.
I made this jam today and added grated ginger. Wonderful!
I just made this today for the third time! The first time and today I was faithful to your recipe, but the time before today I didn’t have enough Meyers so I used a hodge podge of thin skinned citrus from my garden: a tangelo, and some limes that both were thinner skinned. It was equal delicious that way. Thank you for your recipes and the gift you have given me of canning!
Love this jam. I’ve added fresh ginger and it’s a great pair. Thanks.
Do you think this method would work with pomelos? They have so much pith, I wonder if it’d be too bitter.
I don’t think it would work. Meyer lemons have very little pith and pomelos are half pith.
I have cultivated lavender, due I put in the blender along with the lemons for flavor???
If you want to infuse the flavor of lavender into the lemons, add it during the simmering stage. Then, before you puree the fruit, strain the cooking liquid to remove any of the lavender material.
Sad to say that mine turned out really bitter, even after picking out seeds. So much honey wasted…
I’m sorry to hear that you don’t like it.
My go to marmalade! Make it all the time even with frozen lemons. It never fails! Easy & delicious!
I’m so glad you like it!
Hi Marissa…My little Meyer tree is an over-achiever and we are giving away bags of fruit this year. I’ve made several of your recipes, but never with Meyers. I’m going to try the Honey-Sweetened Meyer jam this weekend. Will the same recipe work using sugar instead? I have enough gifted honey for one batch but have plenty of sugar and would like to try a second batch as well as a ginger version of the syrup.
I have a version made with sugar. Just leave out the lavender! https://foodinjars.com/recipe/meyer-lemon-lavender-jam/