I don’t usually make marmalade until the winter, when citrus is in season.Â (Although citrus is so refreshing in the heat of summer.) Â However, I happened to have an abundance of limes, so what else was there to do but make a batch of Dainty Lime Marmalade ( in the wee hours of the morning, before the house heated up)?
Homemade marmalade couldn’t be easier – it only has three ingredients – limes, water, and sugar.Â and It is so refreshing – wonderful on poundcake, over sherbert, or thinned out with a little water and used as a dressing for fruit salad.
Larksong’s Dainty Lime Marmalade
(this recipe makes a double batch – half to cook up now, half to freeze)
Scrub 20 limes and zest them with a microplane into a large measuring bowl (this marmalade was named by Little Hen – I used to just call it “Lime Marmalade”, but the children and I prefer something more delicate than the traditional, large bitter pieces of citrus rind in the marmalade, so I started making it with a microplane, which produces “dainty” zestings. )
Remove the bitter white peel from the lime.
Section out the lime pulp from the tougher membrane.Â (Squeeze the juice from the membrane into the measuring cup before discarding it – you’ll get a lot of extra juice this way.)
Add the lime sections to the measuring cup and squish them up into smaller pieces (just wash your kids’ hands and let them squish the pieces between their fingers, if you like).Â Add enough water to equal 8 cups of total pulp+water and pour into a heavy-bottomed pot.
Bring the lime pulp/zest/water mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer for ten minutes.Â Turn off the heat and let cool thoroughly.
At this point, measure out and freeze half (that’s 4 cups) of the lime-pulp (before adding sugar) that could either be made into a second batch of marmalade down the road, or be used in 1/2 cup amounts in other berry jams.
Now, either let the remaining pulp can sit in the fridge up to 3 days or you can make the marmalade straight away.Â When you’re ready to make the marmalade, get all canning equipment ready and going on the stove.
To the pot (which now contains 4 cups of cooked lime pulp), add 7 cups of granulated sugar.Â Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.Â Boil for approximately 20 minutes, or until jam is set (put some on a spoon in a dish, and set it in the fridge for a few minutes, to test the set).Â Do not overcook – limes contain a LOT of natural pectin and you will end up tough sheets of pectin in your marmalade if it cooks too long.
Take the marmalade off the heat, and stir once every 30 seconds or so, for about 5 minutes, allowing the marmalade to cook and distribute the zest (this reduces floating zest in the finished product.)
Pour into sterilized jelly jars, add hot lids and rings, and can in your hot water bath canner for 5 min (I like to put a dishtowel in the bottom of mine, to keep jars from clanging around as much).Â Remove from bath and allow to cool fully.Â The marmalade may be thin, but will continue to thicken over the next few days.