Meyer Lemons are the hybrid of a lemon and an orange and taste more like orange than lemon. Once rare, most large grocery stores now carry them. I have noticed two kinds – one that looks very much like a lemon and is yellow and one that is a pale orange and is slightly oval in shape. Both have a fairly soft peel. They can be cut up and added to salad and I have heard that they make wonderful curd. I like to make marmalade from them and in 2012, I entered the Meyer Lemon Marmalade in the Millarville, Alberta Fair. The marmalade won best in Marmalade and best in Jams. (I have always secretly wanted to win a ribbon at the fair). This marmalade is not as bitter as most and has a nice orange flavour. It is a huge fan of peanut butter. It’s also mild enough that you could spoon a little on a piece of fish as you were cooking it.
3 or 4 Meyer Lemons (pick the nicest looking ones as you will use all the peel)
3 cups water
2 ½ cups sugar
Scrub the Meyer lemons with a brush under running water. Quarter them and then slice as thinly as you can (use a sharp knife and remember, cutting peel dulls knives quickly). You can cut them directly into your pot. The peel is so soft it doesn’t require soaking like most marmalades do. And besides, a bit of chew in the peel is a beautiful thing.
Add 3 cups of cold water. Heat until steam rises, then add the sugar and stir well until all the sugar is dissolved.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the marmalade “sheets” off a spoon. Sheeting is best described as follows – you put a spoon into the marmalade and then hold it up over the pot. The drips will pull towards each other on the edge of the spoon to make a big drop. You can also put a small amount of marmalade on a plate and place in the freezer for 2-3 minutes. Take it out and push it with your finger. If a wrinkle forms on the surface, it’s done. I can’t estimate a cooking time as it varies with altitude and other factors (which some days include how I hold my mouth and the colour of my shirt).
Take the marmalade off the heat and put into a jar you have washed and then sterilized in the oven at 250oF for 10 minutes. Let cool. Be patient. Marmalade can sometimes take a few days to set.
If you are not sure it’s set enough, take it off the heat and let it sit covered, overnight. You will be able to assess the set the next morning. You can reheat at that point until you can pour it in the cleaned, sterilized jar. Or, if still too runny for your taste, cook it some more.