I am determined to make marmalade, I can make jam, I like making jam. I like eating marmalade more than I like jam therefore I would like to make marmalade.
Round 1. The marmalade was made following the recipe in my Farmer’s Weekly cookbook, Boil lemons in water, half and scrape insides into muslin and slice peel finely then boil with sugar and the water the lemons were cooked in, smelled fantastic, looked pretty but is too runny to spread and the pretty finely cut peel floated to the top. Theory- the lemons were very thin skinned, not much pith or pips to add pectin, I used castor sugar and I should have let it cool before potting to stop the peel floating.
Round 2. This time I used thicker skinned lemons and also added pips from lemons used during the week for hot drinks and baking. Followed recipe in Marguerite Patten’s book of preserves. Recipe suggested chopping or mincing lemons, minced lemon looks pretty revolting so went with the chopping (note to self… slicing lemons with a very sharp knife is painful if the knife slips and you get lemon juice in the resulting cut!) Soaked lemons overnight then simmered for one and a half hours to soften peel before boiling. Only the pips went in the muslin bag so the pan contained all the pith and membranes. No mention of what to do with this and it looked a mess so I ended up fishing it out with a slotted spoon, sorting out the peel and throwing away the rest- not easy when it is all very hot and sugary. I used jam sugar this time. Marmalade then took forever to reach setting point but does seem to be setting in the jars this time. The peel looks a bit thick and uneven though.
Round 3- the plan is to use a peeler to peel lemon rind thinly and slice with scissors into neat, even sized pieces, sharp knives are dangerous! I will put all the pith, membranes, pulp and pips into a muslin square and I will use preserving sugar.
In the meantime I have some apples to make herb jellies with so I can forget marmalade for the rest of the week and concentrate on making good clear jelly.