Superb Lemon Marmalade Recipe
Do you remember buying Robertson's Silver Shred marmalade? Unlike their conventional Golden Shred marmalade that was made from oranges, the Silver Shred marmalade was made from lemons. In spite of what you might expect it was still very sweet and absolutely delicious on hot buttered toast. This is my latest article relating to making chutneys, marmalades etc. I hope it inspires you to have a go at making some lemon marmalade for yourselves. Preserves not only make a lovely Christmas gift for a friend or relative, but are additionally an excellent way of preserving fruits or vegetables you might have a 'glut' of at certain times of year. The hobby of making preserves is very satisfying and quickly becomes quite addictive as I am sure you will find out once you give it a go.
Approximately 9 x 1 lb preserving jars (it is possible to recycle your own kitchen jars so long as they have plastic lined metal lids and can produce an airtight seal, or alternatively you can use waxed discs and cellophane lids sealed with rubber bands as tops for the finished jars).
A Large Saucepan, ideally stainless steel.
A Small Saucepan.
A Juice Extractor.
A Baking Tray.
An Oven Proof Dish.
A Wooden Spoon.
A Plate Chilled in your Fridge or Freezer.
Cellophane Discs. (not required if you are using sterilised lids instead)
A Sharp Knife.
A Slotted Skimming Spoon.
A Serving Spoon or Ladle for Bottling.
A Small Dish.
A Jam Funnel (Optional).
- 1.35 kg (3 lb) lemons
- 5.1 litres (9 UK pints) water
- 675 g (1.5 lb) sugar per 450 g (1 lb) of pulp, warmed
- Wash and dry your lemons
- Chop off the very ends of the lemons and reserve for later.
- Score slits one inch apart vertically down the fruits from top to bottom, being careful not to pierce the flesh within.
- Ease the knife between the skin / peel and the white pith that surrounds the fruit and carefully remove the skin trying to leave as much of the pith attached to the fruit as possible.
- Chop up the skin / peel of the fruits either finely or coarsely depending on your own preferences, (I find using a pair of clean kitchen scissors makes it easy to control the thickness of the shreds)
- Use a juicer to squeeze the juice from the fruit and reserve the juice, keeping the pith and the remaining flesh and pips for later.
- Weigh your saucepan and make a note of the weight.
- Place your chopped up skin / peel into the saucepan along with the juice.
- Place all of the remaining pith, pips, tops and bottoms of the fruit and flesh into a suitable sized piece of cooks muslin and tie the top with the cooks string. Add this parcel to your saucepan.
- Top this mixture up with the 9 pints of cold water and leave to soak overnight.
- The following day bring the contents of the saucepan to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for approximately one and a half to two hours, or until the mixture has roughly halved in volume.
- Test for pectin levels (the natural setting agent found in the fruits), by adding 1 teaspoon of the cooled saucepan liquid into 3 teaspoons of methylated spirit in a small separate dish. If the saucepan liquid forms a nice 'clot' then the pectin level is adequate, if the mixture forms 'strands' continue to simmer and repeat the experiment every 10 minutes or so until a nice 'clot' forms.
- Squeeze the muslin bag against the side of the saucepan using the wooden spoon to get the pectin out, (tip, I place the bag into a colander on a plate and use a potato masher to squeeze out the pectin. As it drains through on to the plate I add the pectin back to the pan.)
- Discard the muslin bag, or empty out contents into a bin and wash the muslin so that you can use it another time.
- Reweigh the saucepan and deduct the original weight of the empty saucepan in order to determine the weight of your pulp.
- Warm 1.5 lb of sugar per 1 lb of pulp by placing in an oven proof dish in a low oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Add warmed sugar to your saucepan and stir (off the heat) until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Wash your jars in hot soapy water, rinse and place upright on a baking tray in an oven at approximately 140 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes to sterilise them.
- Boil a kettle of water and place your lids, tongs and bottling spoon in a pan and pour the boiling water over them. Keep on a low simmer on the stove if possible.
- Return to your main saucepan and bring to the boil rapidly. Continue to boil rapidly for about 15-30 minutes, or until setting point is reached. Setting point is best determined by using the cold plate, dropping a tiny amount of the liquid on to the plate, cooling and then using your finger push the liquid gently. If it wrinkles setting point has been achieved and you can proceed to the next stage. If not continue to boil, testing every 5 minutes until the correct stage has been achieved. Make sure to remove the pan from the heat each time you test for a setting point to avoid the marmalade overcooking.
- Once setting point is achieved add half a teaspoon of butter and stir in to reduce the scum level. Use the slotted spoon to skim off any remaining scum before it sticks to the chopped up peel in the liquid.
- Allow the marmalade to rest for 15-20 minutes so that the mixture thickens slightly. This will prevent all your peel rising to the top of the jars once bottled.
- Remove your jars from the oven.
- Carefully spoon or ladle the marmalade into each jar up to about half an inch from the rim, (using a sterilised jam funnel makes this less messy, but is not essential).
- Place a waxed disc (wax side down) on to the top of the marmalade, followed by a sterilised lid from your saucepan (removed carefully using sterilised tongs and without touching the inner surface of the lid with your fingers), or wait until the marmalade is cool and cover the jar with a dampened disc of cellophane sealed with a preserving band. As the cellophane dries it will shrink to form a tight seal over the jar.
- Wipe your jars and leave to cool.
- Label the jars with the contents and the date of bottling.
- The marmalade can be used straight away.