When I can’t hop on an airplane myself, I enjoy traveling vicariously through the stories of others. It’s not the beaches that captivate me, nor the mountains that hold my attention. No, when friends return from fascinating, far away places, I want to hear about the food.
When friends returned from South Korea, I was intrigued by stories of citron marmalade. The idea stuck with me, and when I found a reasonably priced bag of organic lemons, I couldn’t resist tinkering with this recipe. Its lovely sweet/sour flavor is pleasant on crackers, and is delightful as a glaze on white fish such as flounder. Enjoy!
2 pounds of organic lemons (about 8 organic lemons)*
1 piece of fresh ginger, about 1 inch thick and 4 inches long
1 1/2 cups water
6 cups white sugar
1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid pectin
*Yes, your lemons really, really do need to be organic. Why? Because marmalade uses the peel. Do you want to eat lemon peel that has been treated or sprayed? Neither do I.
Step 1) Wash your lemons. No really, WASH your lemons. Scrub them in hot water for a few minutes. You’re eating the peel, remember?
Step 2) Peel your lemons with a vegetable peeler. This is surprisingly fast, and works well to separate the thin layer of bright yellow zest (which you want) from the thick layer of bitter white pith (which you do NOT want). ~~~
Step 3) Slice your lemon peels into thin strips using a paring knife. My strips ended up being about 1/4 inch wide and 2 to 3 inches long. The dimensions aren’t terribly important.
Step 4) Peel ginger and slice or grate into “matchstick” size pieces.
Step 6) While the peels are simmering, remove the white pith from your lemons. Pull the lemons apart into halves and remove the spongy white center. Remove the seeds, if needed. The idea here is to have as much “yellow” and as little “white” as possible. As you are working with your lemons, save all the juice. Working over a baking pan with shallow sides helps. Chop up your lemons into little bite size pieces.
Step 7) After the peels and ginger have simmered for 20 minutes, add the chopped lemons and any juice you’ve collected. Simmer, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
Step 8) Add 6 cups of white sugar to the pot, keep stirring, and bring that pot to a Mad Boil… the kind of boil that is too fierce to calm down, even with stirring!
Step 9) Once you have achieved a Mad Boil, add your pectin. Continue stirring and boiling for one more minute. Remove from heat. Your kitchen will smell fantastic right about now.
Step 10) Review Crowded Earth Kitchen’s canning guidelines, and fill your sterilized, half pint canning jars. Be sure to leave 1/4 inch of headspace. Place lids and bands on your jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 1o minutes.