RHUBARB AND MEYER LEMON MARMALADE

If you’re a marmalade lover and looking for a new variation, this is a
wonderful combination of sweet and tart. It’s so good in a batch of homemade lemon chicken, or used to fill thumbprint cookies.

1 pound Meyer lemons (or other thin-skinned lemons, if you can’t fine Meyers)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 pound red rhubarb, cut into fine slices

Wash the lemons in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Using a very sharp knife, cut both the flower and stem ends off the fruit. Sit each trimmed lemon on one of its newly flat ends and cut it into 6 wedges. Lay each wedge on its side and cut away the strip of inner membrane and the seeds. Reserve the trimmed pith and seeds (we’ll be using them as a pectin source).

Thinly slice each trimmed wedge. What you want to end up with are bits of lemon that are no more than ¼ inch thick (1/8 inch thick is even better) and no more than 1½ inches in length. Repeat this with all lemons.

Place lemon confetti in a bowl and cover with two cups of water. Bundle up the reserved seeds and inner membranes into a length of cheesecloth, tie the ends tightly and pop that into the bowl. Cover and place it in the refrigerator overnight (it can be left this way up to 48 hours, which is good for those of us who lead busy lives). Prepare a boiling-water-bath canner and 4 half-pint jars. Place 4 lids into a small pan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Pour the lemon, pectin bundle, and water into a large pot. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Place pot over high heat, bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 25 minutes, unt il it reaches 220°. In the last few minutes of cooking, stir in the rhubarb bits. Once it has reached temperature and seems quite thick, remove marmalade from heat.

Funnel into 4 prepared half-pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a small-batch canning pot for 10 minutes.

Adapted from Marisa McClellan’s new book Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces (Running Press).

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