I have never before made a marmalade. There; I’ve said it.
I’ve made jams. I’ve made compotes. I’ve even made a jus or two, and quite a few preserves. But this was my first marmalade.
But what’s the difference? Well, dear reader, let me enlighten you.
Marmalades are preserves made from citrus fruit, in which the rind of the fruit is still present.
Jams are made of whole fruits stewed in sugar and boiled down.
Jelly is what you call jam if you’re American.
I had always thought that making marmalade would be much harder than making jam, as marmalade generally enjoys a more ‘set’ texture that I assumed would be difficult to achieve. However, this was not the case; the natural pectin in the limes makes this an absolute doddle.
In fact, this is easier than most jam’s I’ve made. And everyone loves it!
Note: The amount I made filled 3 mini Mason jars – and one of these jars will last you a long while, because its super tangy marmalade and really, who is smearing an inch of marmalade on their toast every morning? You can easily scale this recipe up, although I wouldn’t scale it down much; it’s a bit of an effort and it keeps beautifully, so why not make a little more than you need?
(Makes 1 medium Mason jar)
7 medium limes
3 cups water
several cups of white sugar (see below for explanation)
With a super sharp knife, chop the hard ends off your limes and cut the limes in half
Slice the limes as thinly as humanly possible; it’s best to do this on the type of cutting board that won’t let all the juice flow away
When the limes are totally sliced, put the slices and the juice that’s escaped in a bowl with 3 cups of water
Soak overnight or at least for 6 hours
When you’re ready, place the whole water/lime mixture into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring to the boil
Bring down to a simmer, cover and cook gently for around 45 minutes, until the rind is soft
Remove the mixture from the heat and measure it out into a separate bowl. For every 1 cup of mixture you have, place 1 cup of sugar into your pan
Add the lime mixture back into the pan with the sugar and return to the heat
Heat uncovered and gently until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring the mixture up to boiling
Boil the mixture rapidly for 15-20 minutes, stirring only very occasionally. You should start to see the mixture becoming jelled; if you’re unsure, with a wooden spoon stir around the edge of the pan; the mixture that comes away from the edge should be very jelled
While this is happened, sterilize the jars you wish to use. If you don’t know how to properly do this, simply Google it
When the mixture is jelled, remove from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes
Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Allow to cool fully
This marmalade will last forever if is a beautifully tangy additional to any toast-based breakfast!
You’ll recognise the flavour if you ever used to eat Fruit Pastilles as a child; this tastes exactly, EXACTLY like the dark green ones.
How can you resist?