I usually make monster batches of preserves. I like preserving by the bushel when fruits are in peak season.
During the winter, I usually end up going down to San Francisco once or twice and getting some citrus fruit from the farmers down there who are coming over from the central valley.
I haven’t made it down there this winter, though, and a girl needs lemon marmalade, so when I was in Whole Foods the other day (I can’t believe I’m saying that; I never shop at Whole Foods and I think the stores are super pretentious, but I was trying to kill time in Santa Rosa, so I kind of just ended up there) I ended up buying six precious little meyer lemons.
Apart from feeling like a loser for buying fruit at the grocery store, this little batch of marmalade was quite a success. It only takes a few minutes to slice up six lemons for marmalade (the last time I made lemon marmalade I did fifty pounds of lemons, which took hours and hours).
The cooking time is also really short, which is nice. Also, I’d forgotten just how lovely a kitchen smells when it’s filled with the aroma of fresh lemons. The most important part: a piece of toast with butter and marmalade is one of the best things in the universe.
How to make Meyer Lemon Marmalade
Makes: almost 4 half-pint jars Cook Time: 1 1/2 hrs. Ingredients:
- 6 Meyer lemons
- 3 c. water
- 3 c. sugar
The first step is to wash and slice the lemons for marmalade.
If you’ve never done this before, check out this set of instructions from Hitchhiking to Heaven for an explanation. (It seems redundant to take another set of pictures of virtually the exact same thing).
Save the seeds and wrap them in a piece of cheesecloth.
Tie the top closed with string.
Next, measure the prepared lemons. The six lemons I had came out to almost exactly 3 cups of prepared sliced lemons. The ratio of lemons to water to sugar should be 1:1:1, so adjust the rest of the recipe accordingly.
Combine the lemons and water in a large, nonreactive pot.
Add the cheesecloth bag with the seeds and bring the mixture to a low simmer to cook the lemons. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the peels are tender.
Using a pair of tongs, remove the cheesecloth and give it a squeeze to release the juice that’s inside (it’s homemade pectin, which will help the marmalade set).
Discard the seed bag. At this point, prepare boiling water canner, jars and lids. Add the sugar to the pot and stir to combine.
Turn the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the marmalade reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can use the frozen plate method.
The marmalade will come up to a full, rolling boil and you’ll see that the liquid will start to thicken and runs off a spoon in sheets instead of a thin stream (click here for a picture).
At this point, you can put a teaspoon of the liquid on a plate that’s been in the freezer.
Put the plate back in the freezer and wait for a minute.
Pull it back out and run your finger through the liquid. If it wrinkles, it’s done. If it’s still thin and syrupy, it needs to cook for another few minutes).
Ladle the hot marmalade into hot, clean jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.
Wipe rims clean and attach lids.
Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude as necessary.
13 thoughts on “Small Batch Meyer Lemon Marmalade”
- christopherjharrodlooks delicious! i get questions about at the nursery on how to best preserve lemons. i will add this to the list. thank you!Reply
- Ann HaverkampThank you for this encouraging post. I just make meyer lemon marmalade and needed to double check proportions, since I made up the recipe as I went along! Mine looks just like yours and is fabulous on toast! Another note on preserving lemon (for 1-2 months in the refrigerator) I use Mahdur Jaffrey’s chutney directions for the lemon: Wash and cut lemon in 1/4″ chunks; put into a pint jar with 1 tsp salt. Shake contents and place on sunny windowsill. Leave in sun for approx 24 hours, frequently shaking and turning the jar. Refrigerate after. You can add this to chutneys or use it on chicken, rice etc. I add about 1/2 the jar to lentil soup or dahl, which brightens the flavors of the lentils!Reply
- ColleenThis sounds and looks amazing. I may have to run to the store to get some lemons.Reply
- ElizabethEYum! Thanks for such a simple recipe. I have about 20 lbs of whole frozen Meyer lemons (they all needed to come off the tree at the same time after that freak frost early in the season, and after juicing 2 gallons of it we broke our juicer and had to freeze the rest). They thaw surprisingly well. If you want to take a few off our hands the next time you’re in Ukiah, let me know!Reply
- ElizabethYum! Thanks for such a simple recipe. I have about 20 lbs of whole frozen Meyer lemons (they all needed to come off the tree at the same time after that freak frost early in the season, and after juicing 2 gallons of it we broke our juicer and had to freeze the rest). They thaw surprisingly well. If you want to take a few off our hands the next time you’re in Ukiah, let me know!Reply
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- Morag RasmussenMade this delicious marmalade but cooked it with the seeds in and scooped them off at the end of the process. They float to the top when the sugar goes in and it was the easiest preserve I ‘ve ever made.Reply
- Carolineglad to hear you liked it!Reply
- Ana T.Thanks so much. Tried your original recipe yesterday – the taste of peels in the marmalade was too strong for me. So – today I blanched the whole lemons first – before slicing and processing them – and then proceded with the recipe – the flavour of this batch is just perfect. Thank you again for this wonderful and simple recipe.Reply
- june mcginnisI have so many Meyer lemons on our tree so I was excited to try this delicious looking recipe. The problem I have is the the liquid is still way too watery even after three hours of boiling! 20 minutes is in no way long enough. I tried the recipe again the second day thinking maybe I mis-counted something, but the result is exactly the same. What am I doing wrong? I could reduce the water by half and it probably would still be too liquidy. I ended up letting my recipe boil for the whole day, about 6 hours, uncoverand. By the way, I have an electric stove.Reply
- Ivy LeafMy mum and I had 5 lbs of Meyer Lemons to use up so we candied the peels of 4 of them and then made this batch of marmalade. As Ana T mentions above, the flavor of the peels is a bit strong and bitter. Mum realized that we didn’t blanche the lemons for the marmalade at all, which would have reduced the bitterness. We had blanched the peels twice to preserve the lemon flavor AND reduce bitterness. I’ve had plenty of commercial marmalades that have this bitter tinge, I just would prefer it without. Next time I make this recipe I’ll blanche the lemons whole at least once before cutting. It may make it harder to cut, but will be worth the flavor.