This tart, zesty spread provides a much-needed wake-up call in the morning when spread on toast. Set some time aside to make the marmalade and enjoy it in the months to come. You will enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes with making your preserves.
Preheat the oven to 130 Degrees C (270F).Use glass jars with an airtight, metal lid. Wash them either in the dishwasher or by hand in hot soapy water, and rinse well. Check that the metal lids do not have rubber inserts. (See Note 9)
Place upright jars and lids on a baking tray. Heat in the oven for at least 20 minutes, then remove and immediately fill with marmalade.
Place 2 saucers or small plates in the freezer, ready to check for the setting point of your marmalade.
Thoroughly wash the lemons. Remove each end of the lemons and cut the lemons into quarters lengthways. Holding two of the quarters together, slice as thinly as possible and remove any seeds.
Place the lemon slices in a non-reactive bowl. See Note 3. Add 6 cups of water, cover the bowl and leave the lemons to stand overnight.
The following day, place the lemons and water into a large, non-reactive saucepan. – See Note 4.
Over medium-high heat, bring the fruit and water to the boil. Boil for approximately 15 minutes or until the lemon peel is tender, stirring occasionally with a long-handled wooden spoon. – See Note 5. The time may vary slightly depending on the variety of lemon and the thickness of the slices.
Add the sugar and stir well to dissolve it. After dissolving the sugar, return the fruit to the boil, stir occasionally and skim to remove any foam. Continue to stir until the marmalade reaches setting point, about 20 minutes. – See Note 6Remove from the heat to conduct the wrinkle test. If not set, continue to boil for another 1 minute and then test again.
To test for setting point, I use the “wrinkle” test. Take one of your saucers from the freezer and pour a small amount of marmalade onto it. Let it cool for a minute then push against the marmalade with the tip of your finger. If the surface wrinkles it means setting point has been reached. Alternatively, if you are not confident checking this way or are not experienced at making marmalade, you can use the fail-safe method of using a jam/candy thermometer which you clip to the side of your saucepan. When attaching your thermometer, make sure that the base is not touching the bottom of the saucepan. Your marmalade has reached setting point when the temperature reaches 104.5 degree C or 220 degrees F. It will still be liquid at this point, and will set as it cools.
Take the mixture off the heat and let the marmalade stand for about 10 minutes. This will help evenly distribute the fruit throughout the jars.
Remove your jars from the oven and carefully ladle the marmalade into the heated, sterilised jars. You need to be very careful. Splashing yourself with hot marmalade will result in a very serious burn. I suggest you have clothing with long sleeves and ensure that you do not have children nearby. Put lids on jars immediately, and seal well - being careful to use a cloth or oven gloves to handle the jars/lids.
The weight of the lemons, before trimming the ends and removing the seeds, was 530 gm/1.2 lbs. We use Eureka or Lisbon lemons for this recipe.
As the peel is such an important part of the marmalade, I like to use organic or home-grown lemons. Commercially produced lemons generally have a wax coating and may have been sprayed. If this is all that you can obtain, you can clean the lemons by placing them in a colander and pouring over freshly boiled water. Then, scrub them gently with a nail brush while holding them under cold running water.
Non-reactive bowls and saucepans are stainless steel, glass, ceramic or enamelled cookware. Aluminium, copper and iron bowls or pans are reactive. Acidic foods, such as lemons, may discolour and take on a metallic taste if these are used.
A large saucepan is essential. When you add the sugar, it foams up enormously. Without a very large saucepan, there is the risk of it boiling over.
To stir, use a long-handled wooden spoon. Metal will become dangerously hot.
Boiling time depends on several factors, the width of your saucepan and the heat at which the fruit is boiled.
The Marmalade will be shelf stable for approximately 12 months.
Your marmalade will be very liquid when you add it to the jars so please don’t be concerned. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Leave it for 24-48 hours and then check again. If it is still runny, you can re-boil the marmalade. Empty the contents of the jars back into the saucepan and bring to a boil. To increase the pectin and help the marmalade to set, you can add the juice of half a lemon. Boil for a few minutes and test again.However, if the marmalade was initially boiled too long, it can still result in it not setting as the pectin may have been damaged.
Properly sterilising your jars is an essential process to remove bacteria which could cause your preserves to spoil. I prefer to sterilise jars in the oven. To do this, preheat your oven to 130 Degrees C (270F).Use glass jars with an airtight, metal lid. If recycling jars, ensure that the jars do not have cracks or chips and the lids are in good condition. Discard any lids that are pitted or rusted.Wash the jars and lids either in the dishwasher or by hand in hot soapy water, and rinse well. Do not dry them with a tea towel. Place upright jars and lids on a baking tray. If you are using kilner jars with rubber seals, be sure to remove the seals before placing the jars in the oven. The dry heat of the oven would damage the seals. Boil the seals separately in a saucepan for about 10 minutes. Heat the jars in the oven for at least 20 minutes. When your preserves are ready to bottle, use thick oven mits or jar tongs to remove the jars. Do not place them on a cold surface as they may shatter. I place mine on a wooden chopping board which I cover with a tea towel. Always sterilise a few more jars than you think you will need. It is better to have too many jars than not enough.
Please note, the nutritional information is based on one 250ml jar. Please take this into account, as you most likely won't be consuming a whole jar in one sitting. The nutritional information is an estimate only.