It’s Meyer lemon season! There are so many reasons to love Meyer lemons! Oh, let us count the ways:
Oh, and there are so many yummy things you can make with them. Our current favorite is Marisa McClellan’s recipe for Strawberry Meyer Lemon Marmalade. She showed us how to make this at the PA Farm Show. The recipe is in her book Preserving by the Pint. This recipe produces a marmalade that is so vibrant with color, that it feels and tastes like a ray of sunshine. Which feels pretty good about now, since temperatures have been in the single digits here in Lancaster, PA.
Most of us probably can’t get our hands on local strawberries in the middle of winter, and that’s okay. The rest of the marmalade components make up for the lack luster strawberries that are available this time of year. If you aren’t in an area with easy access to fresh, local Meyer lemons, we’ve heard the Lemon Ladies are a great source for getting quality Meyer lemons shipped straight to your door.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Preserving by the Pint © 2014 by Marisa McClellan, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.
Yield: 4 (half-pint/250 ml) jars
1 pound/460 g Meyer lemons
1 pound/460 g strawberries
2 cups/400 g granulated sugar
Wash and dry the lemons. Trim off the ends and slice the fruit in half from to top to bottom. Using a sharp paring knife, cut out the pithy center core of each lemon half and remove the seeds. Reserve both the pithy cores and seeds (we’ll be using them as a pectin source).
When all lemons have been trimmed, slice the halves into thin half-moons, place in a glass or plastic bowl, and cover with 2 cups/480 ml of water.
Gather up the reserved seeds and pith and place them in the center of a cheesecloth square. Tie the bundle up tightly to prevent the seeds from escaping. Add this bundle to the bowl where the lemon slices are soaking. Cover and set aside.
While the lemon slices soak, wash the strawberries and chop them well. Place them in a separate glass or plastic bowl and add the sugar. Stir to combine and cover.
Let both bowls sit for at least an hour and up to 3 hours. Stir the strawberries once or twice, if possible, to help the sugar draw out their liquid.
When you’re ready to cook the marmalade, prepare a boiling water bath and 4 half-pint/250 ml jars. Place 4 lids in a small saucepan of water and bring to a gentle simmer.
Pour the lemon mixture and the strawberries mixture into a wide, nonreactive pan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium-high heat for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring regularly.
The marmalade is done when it reaches and holds 220°F/105°C, looks shiny, and is able to pass the plate test. The bag of seeds and pith can be removed.