Recipe: Lemon Lavender Marmalade

What You'll Need

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of lemons (variety of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon fresh culinary lavender
  • 8 cups granulated sugar

This recipe was adapted from one found in Artisan Preserving, by Emma MacDonald. If you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything.

Directions

Makes 8 1/2 pint jars

1. Prepare the Lemons

Wash and peel the lemons. Save the lemon fruit for the next step. Slice the lemon pith and peel into strips 1/4" or thinner. Add the pith and peel to the jam pot.

2. Squeeze the juice from the fruit

 Cut the peeled lemon fruit in half, and squeeze the juice into the jam pot, taking care to keep the seeds out of the juice. Wrap the squeezed lemons and their seeds up in a cheesecloth and place this in the jam pot as well.

3. Add Water and Reduce by Half

Pour 8 cups of water over the lemon juice, peel and pith in the jam pan and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until the peel is silky soft and the liquid is reduced by about half.

4. Remove the Bag and Let Cool

Remove the cheesecloth bag from the pan and place it in a colander to cool for at least 5 minutes. While you wait for it to cool, prepare the jars and water-bath canner, and begin heating the boiling water bath if you have not already done so.

If you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything.

5. Squeeze the Bag to Extract the Natural Pectin

When the lemon bag is cool enough to handle, (it will still be quite warm, but not burning-hot) squeeze it well to get as much juice and pectin into the pan as possible (this recipe uses natural pectin from the Lemons as a thickener). At this stage, as the bag empties, you can actually see the mucilaginous pectin squeezing through the cheesecloth. So cool!

HOW DO PECTIN LEVELS AFFECT THE FINAL PRODUCT?

The more pectin you squeeze in, the firmer and more opaque your jam will be, and the more intense the bitterness from the lemon pith will be. If you like your jam as clear as possible, stop squeezing when the white pectin begins to seep out of the squeezed bag. The jam will have a softer set, but a color like clear fresh honey, with the lemon flowers easily visible, suspended in the body of the jam.

In the batch shown here, I had so much fun squeezing the gooey pectin out, that I put a lot of it in! It made a delicious, strong marmalade flavor, and a soft, creamy yellow color to the marmalade. The white pith of the peel imparts some bitterness, that is a traditional flavor in marmalade.

6. Add Final Ingredients and Boil 15 Minutes 

Add the lavender flowers and sugar to the pan and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Return to a boil and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching.

7. Get the Perfect Set

Continue to boil until the desired set is reached. Not familiar with jam setting methods? Check out our article, "How to Find the Perfect Jam Setting Time".

8. Skim Any Foam and Let Cool 15 Minutes

Remove the marmalade from the heat and skim off and discard any foam with a slotted spoon. Let it cool for 15 minutes, which will prevent the peel from rising to the top of the jars.

9. Process for 10 Minutes Using Water Bath Canner

Ladle the marmalade into warm, sterilized jars and process for 10 minutes in a water-bath canner.

If you are not familiar with the water bath canning method watch our water bath canning video workshop. Always make sure you are following all safety guidelines outlined by the USDA when canning anything.

OVER TO YOU

It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.

This article was published as part of our September 2015 journal.