Last weekend I started making gifts for Christmas. I am going with gift baskets full of home-canned goodies and a muffin mix in a jar. I made brandied apple butter last week; a recipe of my own.
This week I relied on Marisa McClellan (of Food in Jars) for a marmalade recipe.
I used the recipe from her book. She has reworked it a bit since posting it on her website, but either one will work; the pectin just comes from different sources.
Honey Lemon Marmalade
It took me over an hour to turn 12 (ish) lemons into tiny lemon slivers.
You can chop them in half, but I left them like this. I thought it was prettier. After you spend all that time chopping, you cover the lemons with two quarts of water, bring them to a boil, and then cover them and let them sit overnight at room temperature.
Instead of adding pectin, I saved the seeds and bundled them in some cheesecloth.
The next morning, I strained the lemons from the liquid, then put the lemons back in the pot. 6 cups of the strained liquid go back in, as well as 4 C. of sugar, and 2 C. of honey.
Bring the lemon/sugar/honey mixture to a boil. Let it boil for about 40 minutes (until it reaches 220 degrees).
Once it’s the right temperature, take one of the little plates you had in the freezer (I told you to put those there, right?) and drop a spoonful of the marmalade on it. Pop it back in the freezer for two minutes, then take it out again. With your fingernail, push on the edge of the marmalade. If it wrinkles, it’s ready to be processed. If not, it needs another few minutes on the heat.
Process the marmalade in a boiling water bath canner for ten minutes. I suggest you get your setup going before you start the marmalade’s final cooking time.
Also, I suggest you taste it soon after you add the honey and sugar. The marmalade is a little bitter. Not unpleasantly so, but it may be too bitter for some. I think I’ll add another 1/2 C. of honey next time I make this.
I used these really cute, squat square 1/2 pt. jars. Ball makes these square jars in 1/2 pt. and pt. sizes, but I thought a pint of marmalade for a gift was a little much. Plus I got exactly 8 1/2 pts. Marisa is always spot-on in her yields.
My house smelled like a cough drop while I was making this, and I really want to stir some into my tea. The honey flavor is really present; it’s a great gourmet recipe for gifts, or as a gift to yourself.
P.S. Is it weird that all of my Christmas Present posts have Halloween towels in them? It’s WAY too early to break out my Christmas towels, even for a photo op.