Meyer lemons were the very first fruit I preserved more than seven years ago, or in other words, forever-ago. I probably should have taken it easy on myself by jamming apples or strawberries, but I didn’t. I attacked the fancy fruit head on because, first, I’m nuts like that and, second, they really do make a special, unique food gift.
At the time, someone had gifted me a pile of these tiny gems, organic and just in from California. They were certainly sour and a little sweet and full of this perfume that basically stops you in your tracks. I can now definitely sniff out Meyer lemons in any kitchen. Their heady fragrance practically calls to me like a siren and I must have them. All the Meyer lemons.
I eat every part of this lemon, seriously. The fruit, the zest, even the pith is generally thin and mild and easy to love. And when I found this whole fruit jam recipe, I knew I could really eat all the Meyer lemons, all the time.
I love this recipe for so many reasons but mainly because it wins most versatile jam award. It’s sweet enough for toast or yogurt. It’s savory enough to brighten up a pan sauce. It’s definitely sour enough for cocktails, all the cocktails. And it sets up firmly and fast, so watch it closely and stir it a few times before using.
Meyer Lemon Jam
Adapted from Food in Jars
Adapted from Food in Jars
Makes: 6 pint jars
Ingredients:For the jam
- 3 pounds organic Meyer lemons
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups light honey
- 2 cups cane sugar
- Sticker-style tags
Directions:Making the jam
- Place several small spoons on a plate in the freezer.
- Place lemons and water in a medium pot over medium heat, taking care to ensure each lemon is under water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the lemons can be easily pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from the heat and let cool. At this stage, the fruit can sit in water for a few hours up until the next day.
- Remove a lemon from the liquid and check to see if it has seeds by cutting it in half and using your fingers to push around the flesh to find seeds. If you find seeds, remove them and repeat with all the lemons. If there are no seeds, go onto the next step.
- Put the seedless lemons in a blender or food processor. Add two cups of the cooking liquid and blend on low. You're trying to break up the fruit into smaller pieces but don't liquify the fruit completely. Add a little more liquid, if needed, to keep the blender whizzing.
- Pour the pureed lemons into a shallow, wide-mouth pan with the honey and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the moisture has evaporated and you're left with a very hot, thick syrup. This will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minute. Here are the signs that your marmalade is ready: the mixture looks glossy and shiny; the mixture begins to thickly coat the back of your spoon and the bottom of the pan; and the mixture has darkened slightly in color. For those of you with a candy thermometer, your marmalade is ready at 220°F. If you don’t have a thermometer and all signs point to done, conduct a spoon test.
- Conduct a spoon test: Remove the jam from the heat to slow down the cooking. Place a bit of jam on 1 of your frozen spoons and return the spoon to the freezer. After 2 minutes, check to see if the jam has thickened on the frozen spoon by rocking it from side to side. If it’s very loose and runny, return your jam to medium heat and keep boiling the mixture. When your jam barely moves on the spoon, it’s done.
- Write a label on a tag. Affix it to the top of a jar. Gift, as is.
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