Today I made lemon marmalade. I had acquired a couple of kilos of lemons from a large retail outlet, at a bargain price, and I had to use them up before they went off. I adapted the recipe for lemon and ginger marmalade I had made last autumn – very warming and spicy and nearly all gone by now. As usual I took my eye off the pot whilst I had lunch and it boiled over! But never mind, I am sure the results are worth it.
It has been a productive year on the preserving front – I pickled some onions, made Onion Marmalade, green tomato and chilli chutney from the produce in the greenhouse, raspberry jam from our first crop of raspberries, and concocted various batches of herb oils and vinegars. I also froze several batches of runner and broad beans. I need to get a large earthenware crock so that next year I can preserve the runner beans in salt as my grandma taught me.
Lemon marmalade recipe:
1.2 kg lemons
1.2 litres water
900g granulated sugar
Quarter the lemons and slice as thinly as possible across the quarters, putting any pips you encounter into a muslin bag. Tie the muslin bag up and put in the preserving pan with the lemon slices and the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, or until the fruit is soft. Allow to cool slightly and remove the bag of pips, squeezing to extract as much of the pectin as possible. Add the sugar to the pan and boil until setting point is reached (5-10 minutes or 105 degrees Celsius); remove from the heat and pour into warmed jars; put lids on the jars whilst they are hot. Tangy!
Green Tomato and Chilli Chutney Recipe
1 kg of green tomatoes (or however many you have rescued from the plants; I always have loads left because our summers are never long or sunny enough to ripen all of the fruits)
2 medium-sized apples
500g soft brown sugar
500 ml malt vinegar
125 g raisins or sultanas
300 g shallots
small piece of fresh root ginger
As many chillies as you like (minimum 3; chillies do very well for me in the greenhouse, and this year I grew three different varieties: Jalapeño, Iranian Round, and Wenk’s Yellow Hot, all of which were prolific)
Wash the tomatoes, slice the chillies (and deseed if you are not feeling quite that brave!), finely grate the ginger, core the apples, peel the shallots. Chop the tomatoes, apples and shallots so that they are reasonably chunky but not mushy – I use one of those manual chopping machines, but you could use a food processor or just do it by hand. Put all of the ingredients into the preserving pan and stir well whilst the mixture heats up to boiling point, making sure that the sugar has all dissolved, then turn down the heat to a simmer and just leave it, stirring occasionally to make sure it does not stick. This could take at least an hour; it is ready when it looks like jam! Spoon into warmed jars and tighten the lids. Once cooled the jars can be stored in a cupboard, but once opened they should be kept in a fridge. Absolutely delicious with cheese!