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Meyer Lemon Marmalade!

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A slightly challenging recipe as it is done over a couple of days, but one that is quite delicious and well worth the reward.  The marmalade is a lovely bright yellow, and the taste is sweet and tart.

Meyer lemons are softer and less acidic than other citrus so getting your marmalade to set takes a bit of practice (as you dont want to overcook the lemons).

Tip 1:  Choose ripe but firm lemons and dont use any that have a lot of pith.

Tip 2: Make sure that from harvest to processing them is as short a time as possible.
This recipe will make about 9 half-pint jars.Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds Meyer lemons
7 cups water
6 1/2 cups sugar

1. Wash the lemons and chill them in the fridge for at least an hour.

2. Slice each lemon along the stem and then cut a notch from the center to remove the pith.

3. Hold each lemon over a bowl and run your thumb along the inside of the notch to remove the seeds. The bowl will catch the seeds and the juice, which you should set aside.

4. Thinly slice the lemons.

5. Put the lemon slices and the 7 cups of water into a bowl. Strain the set-aside juice and seeds and add the juice to bowl, too.

6. Put the seeds into a large stainless tea ball with a latch. If you don’t have a tea ball, a spice bag or tied up piece of cheesecloth will do. Toss the ball of seeds right into the bowl with the lemons and water.

7. Cover the bowl and let it stand in the fridge overnight.

Next Day:

1. Sterilize your jars and put 5 teaspoons on a plate in the freezer, to test your marmalade for doneness later.

2. Put the contents of the bowl (including the tea ball full of seeds) into a large, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot — not uncoated aluminum, cast iron, or copper. Simmer the lemons until the peels are soft. To test them: Press one of the peels against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. If it comes apart easily, your lemons are ready for the next step.

3. Add the sugar and stir gently until it dissolves, then turn the heat to high.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook it on high heat until it reaches the jelling point — about 30-40 minutes.  And don’t over-stir the mixture! Every time you stir, you reduce the temperature. Let it cook steadily for at least 20 minutes or so, then stir occasionally near the end of the cooking process, so the mixture doesn’t stick. I start testing for doneness when the mixture reaches 220F on a candy thermometer.

Remove the pan from the heat source before testing. Use one of the frozen spoons to scoop up a little bit of the preserve — not a whole spoonful, more like half. Return the spoon to the freezer and wait 3 minutes. When you push the marmalade with your finger, it should wrinkle subtly but all the way through. If you hold the spoon vertically, it should hang together as a whole and start to move very slowly down the spoon.

5. When the mixture passes the test for doneness, take out seed ball, and ladle the hot marmalade into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel if necessary, then put on your lids and bands.

6. Process in a water bath canner, using the correct time for your altitude.

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