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A fragrant Meyer lemon marmalade is the perfect spring condiment for scones, biscuits, or yogurt.
I love jam, and always have several in my fridge, and a few in the pantry. I also like to make my own and since I came into some Meyer lemons recently, some marmalade seemed like a good idea.
If you’re not familiar, Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and a mandarin. So they are oranger, sweeter, and have a fragrant flavor that is unlike an orange or a lemon. You don’t see them often — or at least I don’t — so when I do, I always pick some up. They make delicious salad dressings, cocktails, and in this case marmalade.
Marmalade is a citrus jam with pieces of the rind mixed in. It’s sweet and fragrant and citrusy, and a great way to use up a lot of citrus fruits. I added lavender and vanilla to add a spring flavor that is subtle but welcoming.
There are lots of ways to make marmalade, some taking a full day, but this version took me about two hours. One of the best parts of Meyer lemons is that the pith is much less bitter than say oranges or lemons, so you don’t have to remove every single bit.
Usually, when I make quick jams, I add as little sugar as possible, because I want to taste the fruit. That works with a lot of things, but it won’t work here. Even though it seems like a lot of sugar, it makes several jars of jam. Reducing the sugar will impede the marmalade from setting up properly, so you’ll end up with a lot of citrus rinds in a sweet liquid instead of jelly.
You want to make sure your lavender flours are very fragrant; if not, you won’t taste it in your marmalade. Add both the vanilla and lavender at the very end. And if you don’t have a vanilla bean, extract will work.
This makes about 6 8-ounce jars of jam, so it makes a great gift. You’ll need to sterilize your jars, however.
Lavender Vanilla Meyer Lemon Marmalade
A fragrant Meyer lemon marmalade gets an extra essence of flavor and aroma from lavender and vanilla.
To prep the lemons - cut the lemons into wedges lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, trim the white pith from the edge of each wedge, but don’t throw it out. Remove and discard all seeds.
Slice the lemons into pieces. The size of the pieces is the size of the peels in your marmalade, so if you want a chunkier marmalade, slice into bigger pieces and vice versa.
Put the lemons in a large pot on the stove, giving yourself plenty of room.
Take the reserved pith, and tie it into a cheesecloth or add to a loose leaf tea bag. Add this to the pot.
Cover the lemons with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes and taste a piece of rind to see if it is softened enough to eat. It may be bitter at this point because there’s no sugar. If your peels are not as soft as you would like them, keep cooking — they won’t soften anymore once the sugar is added.
Remove the bag of pith and squeeze the liquid into the pot. Discard the bag.
Add the sugar to the pot. Reduce to a simmer and simmer.
You can test the doneness of your marmalade in two ways. A candy thermometer is the easiest and most fool proof — once it reaches 220-222 degrees F, it’s done. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, put a small dish in the freezer. To test your marmalade, spoon a little on the dish. If it wrinkles, it’s done. The process should take 20-30 minutes.
Once your marmalade is done, turn off heat and stir in the lavender and vanilla. Let cool for 15 minutes.
Sterilize 6 jam jars and fill with the cooled marmalade. Seal tightly.
Recipe Notes:After you’ve added your sugar, you want to cook the marmalade for as little time as possible to develop a bright fruit flavor. This is one reason why you shouldn’t try to reduce the sugar. If you’re not confident in your ability to test the marmalade, a candy thermometer is a must.Storing leftovers: An opened jar should be stored in the fridge. If properly sealed, unopened jars can be stored at room temperature. Both should last a long time (can be a year or more) but if you notice mold, or it smells bad, it’s best to throw it out.Pairs well with:Perpetual Vanilla Extract, Double Toasted French Toast