Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Lemon marmalade

I am not a huge fan of marmalade, but Kirill likes it. So we had a go at making it. The recipe came from this page; I will post it here with my remarks lest the page disappears. First remark is that is should be called marmalade, and not “jam”, as it contains peels.

Ingredients:

    4 lemons (ours were medium-sized)
    Juice of one lemon, strained (recipe says 2 tablespoons, but lemon I used only gave about 3, so it all went in)
    1 cup sugar (my favorite cup holds 260 ml)
    4 cups water
Yes, they are medium-sized, it is a very small pot. If your lemons are waxed, wash them thoroughly (pour boiling water over, scrub with a brush, rinse, dry)
  • Grate the zest of 3 lemons and slice the fourth lemon one into a small pot. Remove any seeds.

Unsure how thick the slices should be, we counted them on the pic in the “original”. We counted 13, so we aimed for approximately the same amount. Now I think that thicker slices probably will give nicer presentation.

  • Add one cup of water to the pot, bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes, strain water, add another cup, bring to boil, simmer ten minutes, strain.

This step (or two steps) is probably to remove some of the bitterness, so next time I will repeat it one more time, to my taste too much of it still remains (although Kirill disagrees)

The result filled half a liter jar, but it probably should make more (see text)
  • Add sugar, juice and two cups of water to the pot, bring to boil and simmer till it starts to thicken: 30—45 minutes.

This last step proved a bit tricky, specifically the “starts to thicken” bit. I found that on the surface of the boiling marmalade some sort of film is formed (probably pectin raises to the surface). So I couldn’t trust the “drop on thumbnail”* test result, and just simmered for the maximum amount of time stated — 45 minutes, then poured the jam into jars and left to cool and set. Well, it didn’t (didn’t set, that is). It remained resolutely liquid.

So, the following day I poured the jam back into the pot and simmered for some additional 30 minutes. It reduced visibly in volume and started to turn orange, probably Maillard reaction started (the liquid stage was yellow). This time it set very fast. I think I could have stopped the boiling earlier (once again, next time). The resulting volume is half a liter, but you might get more of you stop the boiling earlier.

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* ”Drop on thumbnail” is what my granny used to do to test the readiness of her jams. You put one drop of jam on you thumbnail and hold it vertically, if the drop runs down, jam is not ready, if it slides slowly (and majestically), it is. You can do the same with a saucer of course, but this is for sissies. Plus, licking the saucer doesn’t look as natural as licking your thumb.

More photos related to lemons, jam and marmalade @ Shutterstock.

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