There's been a bit of a hiatus since my last posts due to some travelling, the first trimester of a pregnancy and fun things like planning a move. As things are beginning to settle down again though, I have some exciting recipes to share from the last little while. I hope you enjoy!
My last citrus jam that I made over the winter was a lemon jelly. Unlike most of my others, like the G+T Lime Marmalade or the Spiced Grapefruit and Rum Marmalade, I decided to take the more elaborate route for this one and actually process the peels properly rather than just blitzing them into the marmalade. I also decided to try using my Apple Pectin that I made in the autumn to see how it went. And then I added bits...
NB if you do not have homemade apple pectin, replace with the recommended amount of a store bought one.
1 kg lemons
3 1/2 c apple pectin
1 l water
2 c sugar
2 chilis, minced
2 - 2 1/2 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1) Using a vegetable peeler, remove a thin layer of peel from the lemons and set the strips aside. Juice the lemons into a large pot, discarding what remains of the pith. Add the sugar and the pectin and water, and bring to a boil. Stirring, reduce to a simmer.
2) Meanwhile, thinly slice as much of the peel as you want. Add this and the chili and ginger to the pot.
3) Cook until the marmalade thickens. You'll want to test readiness by putting a drop of the hot jelly on a saucer which has been in the freezer. Give it a couple of seconds to cool and then prod it. If the top of the jelly wrinkles, it is ready to put into jars.
4) While the jelly is cooking, boil 4 or 5 jars with their lids in a large pot at a rolling boil for at least 15 minutes. When the jelly is ready, carefully extract one jar at a time from the pot and fill it. Wipe any spills from the rim of the jar, seal and place upside down on a cloth to cool. Once sealed the jars of jelly should keep well in a cool dry place for a good while.
The jelly came out very nicely. It ended up being a different colour than I had originally pictured, both because of the pectin and because of the chilis. I had some doubts about my pectin, but those have been cured. If anything I used a little too much of it. I really liked the flavour when it was fresh and can't wait to try it now that the flavours have had a bit more of a chance to develop.
Not using the bulk of the lemon peel as I did for the other marmalades, my output was drastically reduced, from about 10 jars to about 4. Those 4 are worth it though! They are a clear jelly instead of a thicker bodied marmalade. Occasionally not taking the lazy route pays off! They are different beasts, the marmalades and the jelly, but both very tasty.
All in all, it's been a lot of fun playing around with different citrus jams this winter!