One of the things that happens when I get close to a book deadline is that my life gets whittled down to the bare essentials. I work, I cook, I exercise, and I sleep. Things get very messy in my apartment, save for the moments of intense procrastination cleaning (the seams and edges of of my kitchen faucet have never sparkled so brightly).
Because the book I’m working on is not dedicated to preserving, my canning practice has really fallen flat in recent days. In fact, until I made this marmalade, it had been nearly a month since I’d canned anything. That’s the longest I’ve gone without firing up the water bath in the last decade.
However, no amount of book work is going to keep me away from Meyer lemon season. They’re only available for a short time each winter and since my order arrived from Lemon Ladies Orchard, I’ve been carving out little pockets of time to salt, dry, and preserve all that sunny lemon goodness.
For this batch of marmalade, I chose to boost the flavor with three ounces of finely grated ginger. I sometimes opt to add ginger flavor by juicing the ginger root, but because I’m short on time these days, I went for the quickest option that didn’t require cleaning another appliance.
I don’t mind having small bits of ginger flesh scattered throughout my marmalade. However, if you need the jelly component of your marmalade to be crystal clear, I suggest you make or buy ginger juice and use approximately 1/4 cup instead.
The other thing that got me excited to make this batch of marmalade was the fact that I had these snazzy Le Parfait 200 ml terrines in which to can it. I really enjoy using jars from Le Parfait because of their heft and sturdiness. They also make me feel instantly transported to Europe for far less money than a plane ticket.
Assembling Le Parfait jars for use is easy. Once you’ve given both the jars and the rubber gaskets a good washing with warm, soapy water, you fit the gaskets onto the lids, making sure that the easy-open tab is pointing off to the side of the jar (so that it doesn’t get in the way of the hinge or the clamp).
I warm them in my canning pot, and while filling take care to leave a little extra headspace, to ensure that there is plenty of space for the lids to close.
I’ve done a lot of writing about the art of making marmalade over the years, so I’m not going to rehash all those details here. If you’re coming to this post without ever having made marmalade before, I suggest you read these three posts before digging in.
Now, here is the fun part. I’ve partnered with my friends at Lemon Ladies Orchard and Le Parfait to offer a giveaway in conjunction with this post. Three lucky winners will get a Meyer lemon gift bag from Karen at Lemon Ladies containing three pounds of fruit and an eight-pack of 200 ml Le Parfait terrines (they hold about 7 ounces, just a touch less than a conventional half pint jar).
The giveaway runs until Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 12 noon Eastern time. Please use the widget below to enter!
- 2 pounds Meyer lemons (preferably organic)
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup finely grated ginger
- Wash the lemons. Cut away both the stem and blossom ends and slice each lemon into quarters. Cut away the thin strips of white pith from the interior of the wedges and use the tip of your knife to poke out the seeds. Cut each quarter into thin slices from top to bottom.
- Once all the lemons are sliced, place them in a bowl (along with any of their liquid that you were able to capture) and add 4 cups of water. Let the sliced lemons soak overnight.
- The next day, combine the lemons, soaking water, sugar, and ginger in a large, non-reactive pan.
- Place the pan on the stove and set the burner to high.
- Bring the contents of the pot to a boil and cook, stirring regularly, until the contents of the pot have reduced by at least half and are starting to shape up into marmalade. You may need to reduce the heat as cooking progresses so that you maintain a low boil without scorching the bottom of the pot.
- While the marmalade cooks, prepare a boiling water bath canner and 5 half pints.
- Test for set using both the plate and temperature tests (required temp is 220F).
- When you deem that the marmalade is done, remove the pot from the heat.
- Funnel the finished marmalade into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
Disclosure: Both Lemon Ladies Orchard and Le Parfait are providing the giveaway items at no cost to me. Le Parfait also provided the jars you see pictured here at no cost to me. No additional funds were provided. I paid for my lemons.