Recipes

You found it, the page with recipes for the preserves from Nichols Canyon Co-op.  Read on to find out not only how you can make these preserves at home, but also innovative recipes from Co-op members using preserves in creative ways.

Recipe list:

1.  Mission Fig / Bearss Lime /Ginger /Brandy preserves

2. Chive Oil / Chive Vinaigrette salad dressing – Kristin

3. Tilapia fish with lavender on the grill or on the oven – Cyd

4. Pepper Plum preserves

5. Meyer lemon marmalade

6. Meyer Lemon / Ginger marmalade

7. Indian lemon pickle, or Moroccan preserved lemons

8. Pucker-Up Lemon Cookies

9. Gingered Pear Orange Preserves with Cardamom

10. Rangpur Lime Marmalade

11. Mission Fig Preserves with Lemon and Brandy

12. Peach Vanilla Bean Preserves

13. Zucchini Relish

14. Ron’s Birthday Cherry Preserves

15. Pepper Lemon Tequila Jelly

16. Rangpur Lime Marmalade – large batch technique, when you have a lot of fruit, more than a couple of pounds

17. Rangpur Lime & Gin Marmalade

18. Pomegranate Orange Marmalade

19. Quince Preserves

20. Quince Jelly

 21. Quince Pectin

1.Mission Fig / Bearss Lime*/ Ginger / Brandy preserves

*This is a larger, very fragrant lime and I used limes that were bright yellow, fully ripe. I think that the Palestine Sweet Lime would also work, but the smaller Mexican lime would not. The rind of the Mexican lime is too tough, and it does not have the floral essence that is an integral part of this preserve.

8 cups prepared figs, quartered and then halved

1 cup prepared limes, quartered and thinly sliced – no membranes!

1 cup prepared fresh ginger, finely chopped

4 c white sugar

3/4 c brandy 

1/4 tsp kosher salt

approximately 10 4 oz. canning jars plus two 8 oz jars, but have two more 8 oz. jars ready.  Be prepared, Jam scouts!

Wash figs in cool water three times, changing water each time.  Only cut off the hard stem end, and quarter the fruit then halve the quarter, so that each fig yields 8 pieces. Measure 8 cups of prepared figs. Prepare one cup of very thinly sliced limes using only the pulp and peel, avoiding any membranes separating the segments and discarding the stem end.  The limes are quartered and thinly sliced.  Prepare one cup of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped.

Fill your canning pot with water and set for a low boil.

tip:  I use my spaghetti cooking pot with the strainer insert.  I don’t have room to store any additional cooking equipment, so I multi-task. 

optional: I fill my electric teapot and start that too, as hot water is always useful.

Have your clean canning jars ready.

tip: I have the jars in a hot dishwasher, and I just dip them in boiling water before I fill them. The lids are close by, and I dip the lids in boiling water right before they go on the jars. In my kitchen, you cannot sterilize too often.

Put figs, limes, ginger and sugar in your stockpot (I like to use a soup stockpot, as the high sides protect from spatters and boil-overs).  Bring to a simmer, approximately 12 minutes, and put a small plate in the freezer. Add the salt and the brandy. You will see it boil furiously  and foam up for a minute when you add the brandy (dark rum can be substituted) and then it will subside. Bring to a low boil for approximately 35 minutes.  Stir frequently, and stay close. When the mixture starts to become thick and drips in thick globs from your mixing spoon, rather than running in small streams, take out the little plate from your freezer and put a dab of the mixture on it, then put it back in the freezer for 20 seconds or so. Take out the plate and push the mixture with your finger. When the mixture forms wrinkles on top, it is done and you are ready to can.  Plus you get to taste your finger! Dip your jars in hot water, dip your canning funnel in hot water, and pour the mixture into the hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace, that is, fill it 1/4″ from the top.  Wipe the top of the jars (I like to dip my sterilized cloth in the boiling canning pot water) and center the lids, then screw on the rings lightly, that is, not applying all your strength.  As  soon as I have the lid and the ring screwed on, I turn the jar upside down.  When all your jars are upside down, you are ready for the canning process.  Turn the jars right side up and put them in the gently boiling canning pot and set your timer for 10 minutes.  If you do not have a canning rack or the pasta strainer insert for a large pot, you can put some extra rings in the pot so the jars do not touch the bottom.  I have fastened together rings with twisty ties from the produce department in the shape of Olympic rings, and it has worked just fine.  After 10 minutes, remove the jars and set them aside so they are not disturbed.  If you are going to do this more than once, consider purchasing a jar lifter. You will likely hear ‘pings’ and ‘pops’ as the vacuum forms.  This is a sound that gladdens the heart of a preserver!

The music of the spheres!
(Pericles, 5.1.289), Pericles

Most heavenly music!

(Pericles, 5.1.293-95), Pericles

I mean, has anyone ever said it better than Shakespeare?

Resist the urge to open a jar and sample it right away.  Dissuade the admiring throngs, perhaps open a jar of a previous preserve to distract them. Let your jars cure for at least 3 days as the flavor develops.  Store opened jars in the refrigerator.

Accept compliments gracefully, and ask if they have any fruit trees.

Big shout out to Linda L and Angela K for making this recipe with me.  Awesome cooks, love to them both!

2. Chive Oil / Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Thanks to Co-op member Kristin R for this terrific recipe.  I also drizzled some over plain hummus and can attest that it is a fantastic flavor, crave-worthy!

What I do with chives is to blend them in a food processor with good olive oil.  Let it sit covered for a day, then strain it into a jar.  The chive oil is ridiculously good mixed with lemon juice or champagne vinegar for salad dressing.  I keep it on hand, as my family demands it!  Try some..

Proportions: a bit less than a cup of fresh chives to 2 cups of good olive oil.

3. TILAPIA (fish) with Lavender on the grill (or in the oven)

This very original recipe comes to us from Co-op member Cyd Z, and I am looking forward to trying it. It would also work in the oven, as it is in foil packets.  And cooking it on the grill is so easy and quick, file this one for summer barbeques. ~s

For the tilapia I marinated it for a few hours in a bit of canola oil, a splash of lime juice, a dash of salt and pepper, and some fresh lavender leaves. Here’s the key: Before you cook it (I did it on the grill but in aluminum foil to keep the juices in), make sure you’ve wiped most of the lavender leaves off of the tilapia. Lavender is a very subtle flavor, but tilapia is even more subtle: If the leaves are cooked on the tilapia, the lavender flavor will become overbearing. Enjoy!

4. Pepper Plum Preserves

9 c cut up black plums

5 c sugar

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced (whole lemon, rind and all)

1 very hot red pepper (see photo)

1 medium Anaheim chili pepper

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes

Cook on a hard boil until mixtures forms heavy drips from the spoon, rather than running. This takes about 20 minutes from the time the mixture reaches the initial boil.   Set a small plate in the freezer.  When preserves are thickened,  put about 1/4 tsp. on the cold plate, then put back in freezer for 30 seconds.  Push the mixture with your finger gently – when it forms wrinkles on the surface, it is ready to can.  Ladle into hot prepared jars (about 6 – 7 4 ounce jars), leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Process for 10 minutes.  Best after 2 days.

5. Meyer lemon marmalade

About 12 – 15  Meyer lemons, maybe more or less

6 cups sugar

6 cups water

Wash Meyer lemons well, soak in a cold water bath for 10 minutes, then scrub again.  Have your large measuring cup as well as a medium size bowl lined in a double thickness of cheesecloth ready next to your cutting board.  Slice off about 1/4 ” from the stem end of the lemon, and also a thin slice from the other end.  The only thing you will not use in this process is a thin slice from either end of the lemon. Standing the lemon on the flat end, slice nearly next to the core, and then on the other side, so that you have two large halves with no core and one flat slice with the core in it.  Slice the core and any seeds into the cheesecloth bowl, your pectin bowl, and slice the lemon very very thinly. When you hit a membrane, put that in the pectin bowl.  Those are bitter, but full of pectin.  Put the thin slices in your measuring cup, and all of the seeds, cores and membranes into your pectin bowl.  When you have 6 cups of lemon slices, put this in a large cooking pot along with 6 cups of water.  Tie your cheesecloth full of seeds and membranes into a ‘hobo bundle’, and put that into the pot with the water and the slices.  Bring to a boil and cook until the peel is ‘al dente’, that is, take a piece of the peel out and bite into it.  When it is about like a firm piece of cooked pasta, you are ready to take out the pectin bag.  Put the hot bag in your big strainer over a bowl, and press as much of the milky liquid that remains in the bag out, and return it to the pot.  Discard the pectin bag, it’s given you its all.   Now, add the sugar.  Add 6 cups of sugar, stirring frequently but not constantly, and make sure your jars are just about ready, sterilized and hot.  I put a clean (sterilized) teacloth over my jar filling area, and also another over my area next to the canning pot.  Cleanup is easier, and it is an extra step in keeping all the surfaces super clean.  Start the canning water to boil, and get out your funnel and jar lifter. Put a small plate in the freezer.   After about 30 minutes, the color should be more golden and it is not quite so runny.  Dribble some marmalade onto the frozen plate, put back in the freezer for 20 seconds or so, then try pushing the mixture with the tip of your finger.  When the surface wrinkles, it has reached the gel state and you are ready to can.  Pour the marmalade into your sterilized jars, leaving a scant 1/4″ headspace.  Process 10 minutes.  It is even better if you let if cure a few days before opening!

A note on fallen fruit: I was asked,  ‘What about picking up those lemons on the ground?’  I never use fallen fruit in my preserves.  Once a fruit has touched the ground, it has become contaminated with bacteria.  The best washing process will remove 90% of the contaminants, but say there were 1,000 lively bacteria, and so that left just 100?  Too many for me.  Don’t risk it, and only use fresh, picked fruit.

6. Meyer Lemon / Ginger marmalade

2 cups fresh ginger, finely diced

4 cups lemon slices

6 cups water

6 cups sugar

Follow directions for  (5.) Meyer lemon marmalade, cooking ginger and lemon together to al dente state, removing pectin bag, and adding sugar.  Cook to gel state, process for 10 minutes.  This is truly sublime after it cures for a couple of weeks.  If you know a ginger lover, this will thrill them.

7. Indian lemon pickle or Moroccan preserved lemons

When you have lots of lemons…

lemons

coarse kosher salt

Scrub the lemons, soak in a sink of cold water for ten minutes, and scrub them again.  Slice about 1/4″ off the stem end and a bit off the other end.  Cut nearly in half, then nearly in fourths, so you have a sort of open lemon attached at one end.  Working over a large sterilized jar, sprinkle i/4 cup kosher coarse salt into the lemon, rubbing into the flesh, then push down into the jar. Work over the jar so it catches the juice. Continue cutting and salting lemons, then pack as many as you can possibly push down into the jar.  Really lean into it!  If the juice does not come up to the rim, add some lemon juice. Put a little extra salt on the top, then cap.  Periodically put the jars upside down and around, to keep the salt moving.  They are ready in about a month or 5 weeks. Open the jar, rinse off the lemons, and use just the peel, diced, with curry, stews, fish, rice, couscous- lots of recipes out there!  Congratulate yourself (you are so creative and thrifty, self!) , this is so simple, and Williams-Sonoma sells a 7 ounce jar for ten bucks!  Once the jar is opened, refrigerate, and it will keep for a year.

8. Pucker-Up Lemon Cookies

A refrigerator cookie to have on hand, makes about 5 dozen, depending on the size of your logs – small is better!

1/2 c unsalted butter

1 c sugar

1 egg

2 lemons: grated peel and juice (or the peel and juice of one very large  lemon -  yes Jackie G, I am thinking about your lemons!)

1 tbsp lemon or other marmalade (optional, but very nice if you have it)

2 c flour

1/2 c course cornmeal or grits

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg, mix well, and add lemon peel and juice.  Mix and then add the marmalade, and combine thoroughly.  In a large measuring cup, mix flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder, then add to wet mixture.  Do not overwork the dough, or it will be tough. Chill, form into logs and cover with plastic wrap.  These logs can keep in your refrigerator for several weeks, so you can have warm pucker-ups in a jiffy.  Chill logs until you want to have some fresh cookies, then preheat your oven to 350.  I always spray my cookie sheet just to be safe.  Thinly slice the logs, about 1/4″ at most, and lay on cookie sheet.  They will not spread very much, so they can be fairly close.  Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly brown.  Cool on a rack.

9. Gingered Pear Orange Preserves with Cardamom

6 large pears – or 5 cups chopped

2 large sweet oranges – or 1 cup sliced

small hand fresh ginger – or 1 cup, diced

6 c. sugar (white, cane sugar)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. cardamom

2 cups water

canner, 13 – 15   4 ounce jelly jars

Peel and dice ginger.  Scrub oranges, cut 1/4″ off both ends, then quarter.  Thinly slice quarters.  Put ginger and oranges in large cooking pot, cover with 2 c. water and 1/4 tsp. salt, and boil for 15 minutes to soften.  Add chopped pear (cored but not peeled), sugar, and cardamom.  Cook about 40 minutes to gel stage, pour into prepared canning jars, and process for 10 minutes.

10. Rangpur Lime Marmalade

The most difficult part of this recipe is finding the Rangpur limes, which are not limes at all. They look like a tangerine, taste like an unripe orange  and actually are a cross between a Mandarin orange and a lemon.  But like so many things, these are greater than the sum of the two parts; an elusive, aromatic flavor with a bitter edge.  Gail N, a generous friend of the Co-op, gifted us with a small bag of these, the entire harvest of her tree.

Start this either early in the morning or the night before you plan to make the marmalade.

Soak the fruits in a basin of cold water, since you will be using the peel and need this to be fastidiously clean.  Scrub fruit.  Cut off 1/8″ from both the stem end and the other end, usually there is a black dot marking it.  This is all you will be composting, or not using.  Then slice the fruit in half lengthwise, and remove the center core or white pith and put it in a cheesecloth-lined bow, which is your pectin bag bowl.  Put all seeds in the pectin bowl, these will help the marmalade to gel.  Slice the halves as thinly as possible, and try to retain any juice.  Put the sliced fruit and juice into your measuring cup, as you want to have 7 cups of sliced fruit.  Put the sliced fruit into your cooking pot.  Tie the cheesecloth ‘hobo-style’, and put the bag into the pot.  Add 5 cups of water and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 5 minutes.  cover, remove from heat, and let this sit overnight or 6 hours.  This is the tenderizing wait.. thanks, Tom Petty! .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItLzdZV004s

After the tenderizing wait (because who likes a tough peel?), you will have 8 cups of precooked fruit mixture.  Measure out half of the fruit mixture, 4 cups, into another pot and put on medium high to high heat.  Add 5 cups of white cane sugar, stirring to mix. Put the canner on the stove to heat. Let the marmalade mixture come to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, and put a small dish into the freezer. When the foam subsides and the mixture slightly darkens, and the drips from the cooking spoon start to slow, put about 1/4 tsp. onto your freezer dish, and put back in the freezer for about 30 seconds. Take out the dish and push the mixture with your finger. If wrinkles form on the surface, you are ready to can the marmalade.  Pour marmalade into sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ head space, then process for 10 minutes (close to sea level, i.e., Los Angeles).  When you hear the ‘ping’ of the cooling jars, you’ll know you have a vacuum seal.  Be sure to label and date your jars, and be generous.  Marmalade is for sharing!

11. Mission Fig Preserves with Lemon and Brandy

fresh figs – about 4 pint baskets

2 fresh lemons

6 c white sugar

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 c brandy

Soak the fresh figs in cold water for about 10 minutes, drain, and repeat.  Rinse the figs thoroughly.  On your cutting board, cut off the tough stem end, then roughly chop the figs to end up with about 6 cups.  Put these in a large cooking pot (I use my stockpot, as the high sides prevent splattering onto the cooktop as well as the cook).  Scrub the lemons, cut off a thin slice from both the stem and the blossom end, and slice in half vertically, that is, from the stem to the blossom end.  This way you can slice out the pithy lemon core taking most of the seeds out.  Using the tip of your knife or your fingers, remove any remaining seeds.  Either discard this, or put this in a small plastic bag and freeze for future projects that need extra pectin.  Cut each half in half, then thinly  slice the seeded cored lemon quarters, for at least 1 cup of sliced lemon, and you can use more lemon too.  Add to pot.  Add 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, about 2 cups of water (If your figs are dry, you may need to add a little more, as dry figs will absorb the water), bring to boil, and simmer for 30 minutes, cover, and turn off heat.  Let this set for at least one hour, or all day. This is the base mixture.

Measure out 8 cups of your base mixture into a large stockpot or kettle on top of the stove.  Put your canner on low heat, so it will be ready to heat the jars.  Add 6 cups of sugar and 3/4 c. brandy  to the 8 cups of cooked figs, bring to a boil.  Boil about 35 – 45 minutes, until mixture is very thick but do not let this boil dry.  If it starts to look dry, add water to bring back to a proper preserve consistency but be sure to bring up to a full boil again before ladling into canning jars. Fill hot canning jars leaving 1/4″ headspace, then process 10 minutes.

If you have a larger quantity of figs, as we did, just try to make sure that you use 1 cup of lemon for each 6 cups of figs.  We ended up with 28 cups of chopped figs, and these were drier than usual, so required more water.  Last year the figs were very moist, and we used little water.  But you always need to add the acid to figs, and the salt balances the flavor well.  This is a sweeter preserve than many by nature, and if your figs are very sweet you can reduce the sugar.  I have done this with only 3 cups of sugar to 8 cups of figs, maintaining the lemon ratio, and it turned out well.  As long as you are careful to maintain some  acidity and follow proper canning techniques, there is actually quite a bit of leeway in cooking fig preserves.

12. Peach Vanilla Bean Preserves

6 cups fresh peaches, peel can be left on if it is tender, chopped.  If the peel is tough, dip in boiling water then peel.  Eat one, you can tell!  These Hollywood Farmers Market peaches had tender peels, so no peeling was needed.

4 cups sugar

zest of 1 large lemon

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 whole vanilla bean, split

1 packet liquid Certo pectin

Set the canner on to boil, with clean jars ready to dip in the boiling water.  Lay out the lids and rings, as well as your funnel and ladle, everything should be ready.  You will also want a clean towel to wipe the jars. Put the fruit and all listed ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a full boil, let it cook for about 10 minutes to be sure all the fruit pieces are thoroughly heated and infused with the sugar + acid mixture.  Take out the vanilla bean, and put it in a jar of white sugar to use again.  This vanilla sugar is perfect for your baking, too. When you have everything ready –  your jars, the ladle, the funnel, lids and rings – , add one packet of liquid Certo pectin and boil for exactly one minute. Take off the heat and immediately ladle the boiling mixture into hot sterilized jars.  When the jar is full to within 1/4″ of the top, (this is what is referred to as head space, a little bit of room for the vacuum to form) dip your towel into the boiling water and wipe the rim, put on the lid and then lightly screw on the canning ring.  Immediately turn the jar upside down so you know this one is ready for the canner.  When your jars are upside down, turn them back upright and put them in the hot water canner ( I use a big pasta pot with an insert) and put the lid on.  Set your timer for 10 minutes if you are at or near sea level, as we are in Hollywood, Los Angeles.  After 10 minutes, take the jars out with caution to cool, and be sure to set them on a towel, not on a cool counter top where they could crack.  I like to turn the jars upside down after 30 minutes, and keep flipping them every hour or so to make sure the pieces of fruit are evenly distributed, and not all floating on the top. The reality is that it all tastes the same, which is pretty delicious, but it makes for a nicer presentation.

13. Zucchini Relish

For this particular recipe, the Co-op had a big – really enormous – golden zucchini, but any large zucchini would work. Cyd harvested this one.

8 cups diced zucchini (if it is a large squash, take out the pithy seedy center core)

4 cups diced peppers, mixture of bell and Anaheim, and a couple of hot red ones

2 1/2 cups chopped celery

1 1/2 cups chopped green tomatoes ( we had green cherry tomatoes)

You should have a total of 4 quarts or 16 cups of chopped fresh vegetables, and these are chopped at about a 1/4″ dice.  ( A quart is 4 cups.)

2 cups water

2 cups vinegar

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon turmeric (thanks to Co-op stalwart Shan for refreshing the Co-op spice box)

1 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon mustard seed

Put your canner on heat and get the jars ready.  Put all ingredients in the large pot, and bring to a boil.  Cook at a full boil for about 30 minutes, as you want all the vegetable to be softened, thoroughly heated, and infused with the acid + sugar liquid.  Ladle relish into heated sterilized jars, and process for 10 minutes.

Delicious. Sure, great with the usual suspects like hot dogs and burgers, but I just served some on the side of a plate of baked mac ‘n cheese with pepper jack. This is a winner.

14. Ron’s Birthday Cherry Preserves

1 cup pitted roughly chopped fresh cherries

6 cups peeled, cored chopped apples

1 cup chopped nectarines with peel (about 2 nectarines)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

6 cups white sugar

pinch salt  - 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup brandy

Bring all ingredients to a boil, and boil at medium high heat for about 40 minutes, or to gel stage.  Ladle into prepared hot sterilized jars and process 10 minutes.

Enjoy with deserving friends.  You would be fortunate to count Ron among this group.  Happy Birthday, Ron!

15. Pepper Lemon Tequila Jelly

2 1/2 c chopped peppers   I use a mix of Anaheim chilis, sweet Thai chilis, green bell pepper, a couple of habaneros, and one insane Thai super hot one, such as a bonnet or devil tongue.  For the hot ones, wear gloves and I also wear goggles and cover my nose and mouth with a bandana.  Just be careful!  And only use the flesh, not the seeds or white membranes.

1 1/2 c liquid, consisting of the juice of one orange, 1/2 c tequila, and the rest is lemon juice, about 2 lemons depending on size.

6 1/2 c white sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 pouch liquid Certo pectin

Put the canner on to heat. Bring everything to a boil except the last ingredient, the pectin.  Boil for about 20 minutes, until peppers have absorbed the mixture and softened.  While mixture is reaching this boil and cooking, prepare canning jars.  When using pectin, you have to have everything ready and move very quickly.  Don’t pick up the phone!  When the  mixture is at a full boil, quickly add one pouch of pectin, stir briefly and cook exactly 1 minute. then ladle into hot prepared jars.  Process for 10 minutes.  This needs a couple of days to set up.  If you want it spicier, just use more hot peppers, but this will get hotter as it cures.

16. Rangpur Lime Marmalade – large batch citrus marmalade technique, when you have a lot of fruit, more than a couple of pounds

This is a technique to make a base mixture of citrus marmalade, when you have a larger quantity and may not be able to process it all the same day.  I am using Rangpur limes here, but I have also done this with Meyer lemons and a mixture of citrus. Note: use caution when adding grapefruits to any citrus mix, as they can overwhelm a marmalade with an unpleasant bitterness.   For mixtures with some sweeter fruit, such as sweet oranges or tangerines, you can adjust the sugar in the second cooking.  For limes and Meyer lemons, my ratio is 1:1 (1 cup of sugar for each one cup of cooked mixture), but for sweeter mixes, you can reduce the sugar very slightly.

Whatever mix you are doing, always include at least 1 cup of sliced lemons to each 7 cups of other citrus.  Even with these tart Rangpurs, the lemons round out the acidity in a pleasant way, and will add necessary tartness to sweeter mixtures.

The fruit preparation can be summed up in 4 steps.

1. Soak and Scrub – twice is nice

2. Tip and Halve- cut a thin slice off each end, cut in half lengthwise

3.  Core and Seed – cut the center core out in a little triangle, run your finger along the groove to remove seeds

4. Quarter, Slice and Measure – cut halves into lengthwise quarters, thinly slice and put in measuring cup

Tip and halve the fruit

Kumquats get the 4 step treatment

Prepare the fruit by soaking, scrubbing, soaking again and another scrub.  Because it never hurts to state the obvious, discard any fruits that are soft or moldy.

Have a large stockpot, your cutting board and sharp knife, and a measuring cup ready. You will also need a medium size bowl draped with a double layer of cheesecloth (or old clean cloth) that you will be able to tie up in a bundle, hobo-style. This is your pectin bag bowl.

A particularly handsome pectin bag, from a Meyer lemon large batch

I am going to use  Rangpur limes (‘limes’) here, but ‘lime’ will refer to any citrus fruit you are using.  There are also some pictures in recipe # 10 above.

Place your lime on the cutting board and cut off 1/4″ from both the stem end and the blossom end, and discard these pieces. This is all you will discard. Cut lime in half lengthwise, and cut out a triangular piece from the center with the core.  Holding this over the cheesecloth draped bowl, your pectin bag bowl, put that pithy core in the bowl and then run a finger along the inside to pop out any seeds.  Catch the core, seeds, and any juice in the pectin bowl.  Return the cored, seeded half to the cutting board, and cut once lengthwise, so you have quarters.  Then turn and slice as thinly as possible.

Thin slices make an attractive marmalade

Some people will do this in a food processor, and that would work, but this really does make for a nicer presentation.  You will have lovely colorful shreds suspended in a clear colored jelly.  Place the slices in a measuring cup, and just keep going.  I ended up with 14 cups of limes, so I prepared two large lemons using the same 4 step technique to get 2 cups of lemon slices (the 1 – 7 ratio), so I had 16 cups of prepared fruit in the pot.  Put the captured juice from the pectin bowl in the measuring cup.

Add the equivalent amount of water, in this case, 16 cups of water since I had 16 cups of fruit and juice.  For each basic (6 – 8 cup) measure of fruit, add a pinch of kosher salt.  I added two pinches of kosher salt for this.

Boil citrus slices with equivalent amount of water and a pinch of salt for 30 minutes

Back to the pectin bag bowl: tie up the ends hobo style, that is, corner to corner.  Because I once had a pectin bag come loose, my little bit of insurance is to turn this bag upside down in another piece of cheesecloth and do the same thing, so it is a bag in a bag.  Put it in the pot with the fruit, water and salt.

Bring the mixture to a high boil and boil for 30 minutes, then cover and turn off the heat.

This is the point where you can either leave the mixture for 6 hours or so on the stove (it retains heat for a long time), or refrigerate it with the bag in it.  If you want to freeze it, let it cool completely and take out the pectin bag and squeeze every bit out that you can.  It might look a little milky and thick, which is good. No need to freeze the bag in with the mixture.

When you are ready to make the marmalade, put the canner on the heat and take out your mixture.  Remove the pectin bag and squeeze it thoroughly, then discard it.  Measure out 6 cups of mixture into your cooking pot and add 6 cups of sugar.  This sets up fairly quickly, plan on about 20 – 30 minutes to reach the gel stage, when it is ready to ladle into prepared jars. Bring the mixture to a high to medium high boil, and put a little dish in the freezer.  When the mixture starts to thicken, it will slightly darken and will drip from the spoon off two sides.  Put a dab of hot jelly on the cold plate and return to the freezer for 1 minute. Take it out and push the mixture with your finger – if it wrinkles, it is ready.  If it is still just liquid, keep cooking.  Once it reaches the gel stage, ladle into prepared jars leaving 1/4″ headspace, and process for 10 minutes.  This will set up very quickly.

17. Rangpur Lime Gin Marmalade

8 cups base mixture as detailed in recipe #16 above

6 cups sugar

1/2 cup gin

This is a tart marmalade, and the flavor of the gin becomes more apparent after it cures for a day.  Follow steps for #16 Rangpur lime marmalade above.  The only slight change is the proportion of sugar to base mixture makes this quite tart, and the addition of the gin.  This will boil for about 30 minutes, so the alcohol will substantially evaporate.  Sophisticated and elegant, this is like something James Bond would put on his toast!

18. Pomegranate Orange Marmalade

4 large pomegranates

2 large oranges

1 large lemon

4 cups white sugar

water

This marmalade should be started the night before you plan to cook it and can it.

The night before:

Soak and scrub citrus.  Put two layers of cheesecloth over a small bowl for the pectin bag.  Cut off 1/4″ from both the stem and the blossom end of the citrus, then slice in half lengthwise. Cut out the core, put in the pectin bowl, and scrape seeds into the pectin bowl. Lay the cored and seeded citrus hemisphere cut side down on your cutting board, cut in half again, then thinly slice the quarters. Put the thin slices of citrus into a cooking pot and cover with water, about 4 cups.   Tie up the cheesecloth pectin bag hobo-style, and put it in the pot with the peels.  Set aside to soak overnight.

The next day, bring the citrus and water mixture up to a medium high boil to soften the peels.  You want the peels to be as soft as well-done pasta, easily cut on the side of the pot with your spoon. This will take about an hour and 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, wash the poms.  You will use two of them for juice and two of them for seeds.

Note: Pomegranates will stain everything, so dress accordingly.  I like to wear an old dress shirt of my husband’s, as it covers my arms completely (and has a pocket for my cell phone). You may want to cover your kitchen counter with an old towel as well, to protect grout and formica.

To juice a pom, halve it and use your electric citrus juicer.

I use an electric citrus juicer to juice them, or you could use a pressure juicer or even a  manual juicer over a dish, but work quickly, as you do not want to release the bitter flavor from the white pith.  You will need 1 cup of juice.  To seed the pomegranates, fill a large bowl with cold water and cut open the pom underwater.  Pull apart the sections to release the seeds, and the white pith will float to the top.  Discard the pith, to measure out one cup of seeds.

Back to the pot of citrus peels on the stove, which should be nice and soft.  Remove the pectin bag to a small bowl, and keep squeezing out every bit of milky liquid, adding it back into the citrus pot.  Now add the 4 cups of white sugar, stirring to dissolve.  Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cup of pomegranate juice and bring to a medium high boil.  Set your canner on to boil.  It will take about 30 minutes for this mixture to reach the gel stage, when you will can it.  You’ll see the mixture become foamy and it will drip slowly from the spoon.  Once it reaches the wrinkle stage (a few drops on a cold plate wrinkle when pushed with your finger, see earlier posts for more detail on the wrinkle/gel stage), you are ready to add the cup of pomegranate seeds.  Simply bring the mixture back to a boil for one minute, then ladle into prepared jars with 1/4″ head space.  If you cook the seeds longer than a minute, they will become unappealingly hard. Process for 10 minutes.  This technique will keep the gem-like seeds juicy and crunchy.  Your final product will be fruity without any bitterness.

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