We traveled to Florida, the citrus capital of the US, last weekend and I was so excited to come back home with a stash of Meyer lemons; often known as the winter season's "culinary darlings". But I'll bet that you'll never guess where I found them!
Super Walmart! Not even in Florida, but on the way home ............ a lovely bag of Meyer lemons for $1.99!! I get excited about strange things and this was definitely a thrilling "find" for me!
If you're not familiar with Meyer lemons you will want to get acquainted. They're sweet, plump and juicy with a beautiful floral aroma, actually a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon. Unlike normal, every day, mouth-puckering lemons, these crossbreeds can be eaten on their own in salads and fruit plates. They're delicate and thin skinned making them more of a problem to transport than most citrus fruits. Meyer lemons can be difficult to find and often quite pricey, hence my great surprise at finding them at Super Walmart!
I decided to make a yummy, but super simple freezer marmalade which involves no cooking or pressure sealing as many jams and jellies do. This Meyer Lemon, Orange and Fresh Ginger Marmalade is stored in the freezer, ready to be pulled out on a moment's notice; perfect for hostess gifts or just for loving on family and friends. I also like having marmalade on hand for a myriad of delicious appetizers, dips and glazes for roasted or grilled meats, poultry and seafood.
We enjoyed this Meyer Lemon, Orange & Ginger Freezer Marmalade on fresh, warm bread with our dinner last night. It seems to be the perfect combination of sweet and tart and the hint of ginger gives it a bit of pizzazz! My culinary consultants, aka my husband, son and daughter-in-law, thought it was some of the best marmalade they've ever had! I think I might just be making another trip to Super Walmart - maybe I'll see you there! Oh, and if they're down to the last bag of Meyer lemons, I'll try to behave and not fight you for them! 🙂
- 5 medium Meyer lemons*
- 3-4 medium naval oranges*
- 1 tablespoon peeled finely minced fresh ginger
- 4¼ cups sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1 box SURE JELL powdered fruit pectin
Prepare glass jars or plastic containers and lids by washing them in hot soapy water or in a dishwasher. I like to use ½ pint and ¼ pint size jars, but feel free to use any size.
Remove the colored part of peel from the lemons and oranges using a vegetable peeler or zester. I like to use one of these. It works perfectly to remove small strips of zest. If you use a vegetable peeler, cut the peel into thin slivers, or finely chop. Peel and discard the remaining white part of peel from the lemons and oranges. Finely chop the fruit, discarding any membranes and saving any juice. Mix fruit and juice with the slivered peel and fresh ginger. Measure 2-⅓ cups of the fruit mixture into a large bowl. If you have extra discard or save for another use. Stir in sugar. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Allow to sit for several hours stirring occasionally until all sugar crystals are dissolved. If necessary microwave again for 3 minutes to dissolve any remaining sugar crystals.
Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 min. Add to fruit mixture; stir continuously for 3 minutes.
Fill all containers immediately to within a ½" of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Marmalade is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to one year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
The number of lemons and oranges is approximate and will depend on the size of your fruit. The important thing in this recipe is that the amount of prepared fruit mixture equals exactly 2 ⅓ cups. Jam and jelly making is an exact science, unlike other types of cooking where measuring is not as critical. If the fruit and sugar proportions are not precise your jam/jelly/marmalade will not set correctly.