Our parents’ meyer lemon tree is at it again, an annual phenomenon we greet with both delight and exasperation. We simply adore meyer lemons and are oh-so-grateful to be the beneficiary of such a bounty, but the prospect of finding uses for so darn many of them is beyond daunting. And the prospect of witnessing one precious meyer lemon go unused? Unthinkable, but a girl can only make so much sorbet, curd and lemon drinks before she starts to lose momentum.
Which is why this year we reinvigorated our meyer lemon repertoire by incorporating canning.That’s right, folks: meyer lemon marmalade. Golden, tart, and lovely, marmalade is the perfect way to work through a *serious* glut of citrus as well as stock one’s pantry with row upon gleaming row of homemade product.
We used a simple, vetted (so important when canning!) recipe we found on Epicurious and the results were brilliant. The keys to our success?
- Pencil “marmalade” in on your calendar…twice… The lemon slices need to soak for 24 hours, so be sure to carve out time on two consecutive days to complete the project.
- Marry a sous chef or eagle scout (or Dexter) who is really, really handy with a knife. Marmalade requires a lot of painstaking slicing and dicing (mandolines need not apply) if you’re going to achieve paper-thin perfection.
- Trust that the seeds will do their job. We almost balked and added pectin several times because the cooked marmalade just didn’t seem gelled enough. Upon opening our first jar the next morning, our faith in the natural pectin power of lemon seeds was rewarded.
Having mastered our marmalade basics, we might step it up next time by adding a vanilla pod or rosemary sprig to each jar or incorporating dates a la Alain Ducasse. We just received another bagful from our mother yesterday, so it’s back to the cutting board for the Hus-b and back to the stove for us!