Recipe 1 of 103
James brought these home for me…Meyer Lemons…lots of them. I thought to myself…what to do with all these beautiful fragrant luscious lemons. At the time I was reading a girl and her pig, I received the book and the lemons on the same day. These two simple happenings brought me to this project.
Fennel Lemon Marmalade
What you will need.
7 to 8 large thick skinned lemons – wash well
5 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons fennel pollen (find on line or at whole paycheck aka whole foods)
Assemble your clean lemons in a large pot of water, enough water to cover them while they bob around. Cover the lemons with a plate to keep the submerged. I used my deviled egg plate, worked perfectly.
Boil for about an hour, you want them soft but not bursting. Check water as the hour goes to see if it needs replenishing. With a blunt knife, check to see if you can easily pierce them, if so they’re good to go. Reserve 1 1/4 cup of the water. Take them out and let them cool until you can handle them comfortably. Cut them in half, they should look like this. Sorry this photo is blurry.Scoop out all the flesh into a bowl. Cut the rinds into flat pieces and scrape off the white pith.This is the point where I realized the thick skinned lemons would be much easier to work with. The meyer lemon skin is so thin and dainty, it really was like doing surgery, trying not to rip the rind to shreds. More on the final result with meyer lemons later. This step takes awhile be patient – make sure to remove the pith…… pith = bitter. Here is an after shotJulienne the rinds thinly like thisPlace your expertly sliced rinds in a pale pink Le Creuset ( jk, I know not everyone is lucky enough to own this beautiful piece of cookware, I still squeal with girly glee every time I use it, thanks Jennay ) or a 4 qt sauce pot with reserved water from the boiling of the lemons. Grab a chinois/strainer, you will need a medium mesh chinois/strainer, do not use a fine mesh, you won’t get enough of the pulp through. Push the pulp against the side of the chinois to get as much pulp through as possible. You want very little left in the strainer, like this.The sauce pot should have the lemon rinds, reserved lemon water from boiling 1 1/4 cups and all the pulp you could muscle through your chinois. Stir in 5 1/2 cups of sugar (if using meyer lemons do 5 cups of sugar) over a high heat, when the mixture begins to simmer, set your heat for a low simmer and cook for 1-2 hours, the mixture will darken as it cooks. Starting out like thisits getting close to done
to test if the mixture is done, spoon a small amount on to a plate, let it cool. If its sticky and gel like its done, if its loose and runny keep cooking a bit longer.when you nail the consistency, stir in the fennel pollen and let cool. At this point you could process them in jars and they’d keep for up to a year. If you’re going that route I would double the recipe.
This recipe will yield about 5 cups. It will keep in the fridge for a month. Slather all over toast and or scones. Add it to your next cheese plate instead of fig jam. The longer it sits the more bloomy it becomes and you can really taste the fennel pollen. I used it as a layer in some shortcakes with fresh strawberries on top. OMG it was so good. I have gifted a few friends with this lovely marmalade, hopefully they’ll comment and share their thoughts on it. This was my first adventure into Marmalade, there are several different methods on making it, I found April’s easy and the outcome was divine. I’ve made it with both meyer lemons and regular thick skinned lemons. The flavor is much sweeter and mild with meyer lemons, both were great tasting, if you want more of a tart twang use the regular lemons.
Try it and let me what you think.