O Sunny Day!
Its been, what, a fortnight since my last post?
I have been trying to "fit in" around here, so that has taken much of my time. Plus the Jennifer Anniston arm campaign has been working well for me. I have also taken to jumping rope, as well. It really elevates the heart rate lickity split.
Well, for my most current project, I have decided to take on canning, or as a good Yankee woman would say, "puttin up____" (fill in the blank with whatever you got that day.) You got baby corn? Pickle it and sell it to Godfathers for their salad bar. You got a patch of blackberries? Put on your overalls and make you some hooch. You got a case of Meyer Lemons at Costco for your sister's bachelorette party last weekend? Make some Meyer Lemon Marmalade!
I decided to use a microwaveable method, as this project was quite a small one. The cook time is only about 11 minutes total. But we are talking about micro-waves….
Onward to my sunny project! Though it was quite gray and misty here, this project allowed me to buzz about and forget about some of the recent humbugs of the week. The recipe is from one of my new favorite sites, Put Up or Shut Up
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean pod, cut up
Prepare a hot water bath and make sure your jars and lids are sterilized. remember, don't heat the screw caps, just the jars and the seal.
Slice lengthwise into quarters and trim away the white membrane near the core and remove all the seeds.
Combine lemon slices and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Puree the mixture until a sunny, chunky broth is formed. This will be QUITE sticky and liquid. The meyer lemon is a thin skinned citrus, so there will not be noticeable rind as in a traditional marmalade.
Pour into a high-sided microwaveable bowl adding vanilla bean cut into a few pieces. Cover tightly with saran wrap that you have pierced a few times to vent.
Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Stir; remove saran wrap and return to microwave for 5- 7 minutes. Remove, stir and check thickness. At this point, depending on the juiciness of your fruit you may want to return it to the microwave for another 2-3 minutes. It continues thickening as it cools.
DO NOT fear as this concoction will bubble and toil in the microwave. Just be patient and remember you are dealing with citrus lava flow.
Stir again and pour or ladle marmalade into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch headroom and removing any air bubbles. Wipe rims and place lids on screwing on lightly.
Place jars in canner making sure they are submerged. Return to a boil and process 5 minutes (timed from the boil) for 4oz jars and 10 minutes for 8oz jars. I used 80z jars because I felt the 4 oz portion ones could be eaten, literally, with one spoonful. Thats no way to live, when you eat the whole jam jar in one sitting. Unless you are someone I know... Love you dad!!
Remove lid and wait 5 minutes before carefully removing jars. Place jars on towels or a cutting board to cool. Label, date and enjoy.
Notice the flecks of vanilla in the 'lade. Whenever I see those flecks, I know whatever it is I am about to eat is going to be lush. I left a little keepsake vanilla pod segment in each of the jars, to add flavor and intrigue….what is the black speck in my jam, dammit!
I made 2 batches of this marmalade and yielded 5 jars. Please do note, however, that I did not double this recipe, I just made it twice. The microwave will revolt with a molten sticky serum bomb all over your house if you dry to double the batch.
The jar above was a bit on the low side, so I decided to keep that one for the fridge and consume in the next couple of days. Normally, you would want to fill the jar up a little more. I only had 8 lemons ok?!!
As a side note, my grandmother once bought me a meyer lemon tree, but it was overcome by some sort of citrus spider. I shall acquire another one, someday.