marmalade 1. cathy 0.

Meyer lemon marmalade. Sounds fantastic, right?

I don’t know if it’s the marmalade or the day long job of making it, but I’m not a fan.

It took a long time to peel the lemons, remove the seeds, chop the pulp, food process the pulp. There were resting periods I hadn’t counted on.

I should have read the recipe more carefully, but I just jumped in. Life is a little busy. I’m going in a million directions. But there was this bowl of lemons. And I’ve got lemon curd, and limoncello, and preserved lemons. The only lemon I didn’t have was marmalade, something I’ve promised myself I would make.

I chopped and blanched and stirred. I heated it slowly, very slowly, seeking the magic 220° temperature.

At 215° it burned. Not completely, but enough. I carefully, very carefully, removed the jam to another pot, leaving behind the blackened lemon as much as possible. I brought it up to a full boil stirring like a madwoman, than packed it in jars and processed it.

These 4 half pints will not be gifts for my British friends, the ones who adore marmalade. They’ll be mine. There are a few burnt pieces here and there and they’re just not fit for gift giving. So I have two pints of marmalade. And truth is, I don’t even like it that much.

Some days, it’s better to read a book than take on a canning project.

Just sayin’.

Here’s the recipe I used.

32 thoughts on “marmalade 1. cathy 0.”

  1. Is it because the skin of these things is thinner than other lemons? Sugar content higher? I”ve been testing egg recipes all day and while they are lovely pastured eggs, I’m sick of them….

  2. Marmalade was my least favorite project of last year. It felt like a lot of work and it turns out I am just not much of a fan. The jars I did not give away ended up as either filling in grilled cheese sandwiches or as breakfast with cottage cheese.

  3. Well I ruined Key Lime pie today TWICE…picked the limes, juiced the limes, used homegrown eggs…homemade graham crackers crumbs…YUCK! Thought I left something out, so I tried another recipe….YUCK…I think there’s something wrong with my LIMES!

  4. Haha, oh I’m sorry! I did the very same thing w/a blood orange marmalade I attempted to make. I renamed it “caramalized” marmalade and everyone was impressed!

    1. Glad to hear it’s a shared experience. Usually, I get very stubborn and make the recipe until I’ve conquered it, but I’m just not that crazy about marmalade, as it turns out.

    1. Hi Liz – I did look at your recipe and took notes, but I decided not to flavor with ginger, so used E. Bone’s recipe. I’ll know better next time. If there is a next time! Ha!

  5. Yes. Bad canning mojo in the air this weekend. Time to look at some seed catalogs, with my feet up and a nice glass of red wine at hand!

    1. I hate to say it. I feel so much better knowing so many of you had some form of Mercury retrograde happening in your kitchen, too.

  6. You know, if you’re not planning on CANNING it, which is to say making a preserve that you can keep in the pantry for a very long time, I find it’s incredibly easy to simply make a kind of candied jam of citrus. I simply pitted the sliced fruit, boiled them in some water, and added enough sugar to sweeten and make the whole mess sticky. No peeling, no separating out the pulp, I didn’t even measure anything! And I made a tangerine jam that was so good we ate it all in a very few days. Canning, sure it’s the frugal and quaint thing to do. But my refrigerator works great and has plenty of room.

      1. LOL Yes, you make a good point. Scorching happens in the dangerous range between 215 and 220, which is only necessary when canning.

  7. I for one am grateful that you are sharing your, erm, misses as well as your successes. It’s easy to forget successful food bloggers are human, too! Makes me feel a tiny bit better about my last two batches of bread not rising…stupid yeastie beasties. Hmph.

  8. If you need a way to use the marmalade, I’ve really enjoyed beets slow cooked in butter with a marmalade glaze. The bright citrus ‘lightens’ the earthiness of the beets, the different sweetnesses meld and make a very tasty, glistening dish.

    1. Nice idea! I had lunch at Palena this weekend and their pate de campagne was served with glazed beets. Using marmalade would be lovely. In the case of Palena, they added whole mustard seed, too.

  9. When I make marmalade ,i don’t peel the oranges. I use the rasp and just zest them . I don’t like the big bites of peel. When you zest it ,it goes all throughout the marmalade and people who don’t like marmalade will try it like this because you don’t get that bitterness from the peel.

  10. I take great comfort in your post as I too tried making a Italian Lemon marmalade this weekend (from a very detailed recipe) which despite all the description & prep (3 days!) when it came to cooking instructions, recipe recommended boiling at high heat for 30 minutes. Well no wonder it burnt! Was so disgusted after all that prep….will probably stick to my laurels and go back to baking biscotti 🙂

  11. Cathy – I’m so sorry you had a bad experience making Meyer Lemon Marmalade. Nothing puts me in a bad mood faster than an “epic fail” (as my teenaged daughter says) in the kitchen. The recipe you used sounds unnecessarily labor intensive. This is my second year making marmalades — I just finished a batch of Cara Cara Orange and Meyer Lemon Marmalade this morning — and I have had great success using Ina Garten’s recipe “Anna’s Orange Marmalade” as a template. For Meyer Lemon Marmalade I use 6 lemons, 4 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar. Cut the ends off the lemons, cut each in half the long way, and then use a mandoline slicer to create paper thin half-moon slices. Discard the seeds and trim any pieces that have a lot of bitter white pith. Place the lemon in an enamel pot like Le Creuset (less likely to burn than All-Clad), add the water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Let this mixture sit covered at room temperature overnight. The following day, bring back to a boil and let it cook at a very gentle simmer for two hours, stirring only occasionally. Then turn up the heat just slightly and continue to cook until the marmalade reaches 220 degrees — this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour more. Check for “sheeting” off your spoon, or on a cold plate, and then put in jars and process for 10 minutes. I often have to fight the temptation to turn the heat up to get to 220 faster, but the long slow rise avoids burning and yields a deeply flavorful, spectacular marmalade. I hope you will give it one more try — this really is a winner of a recipe!

  12. I love jam-making – right now it’s mid-summer here and I’m thinking about some berry jams this weekend. I adore marmalade (or pretty much anything that tastes bitter, actually), but I have to confess I’ve never been game to try making it – my solution has always been to adopt a friend who both makes great marmalade and is generous about giving it away 🙂
    Hoping to also start my bacon project this weekend for Charcutepalooza – very excited.
    Sue 🙂

  13. today’s boozy blood orange marmalade is overly boozy and not quite firmly enough set, with peel that is not quite cooked enough… a number of learning opportunities…

  14. I can’t wait to show this to my husband who wanted to make marmalade with some Meyers we had leftover but I pushed for preserved lemons instead–I’m not a huge fan of the “I told ya so!” but here it feels appropriate.

    Did you find peeling/grating Meyer lemons difficult when making limoncello? And did you need quite a few (the last time I braved limoncello I bloodied my fingers grating ten of those suckers–grapefruit was a lot easier to do).

    I just found you via all of the Charcutpalooza craziness–love your blog!

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