If you have never canned before, Tigress has lots of inspiration and information to get you started. If you are a seasoned canner, she has more recipes linked/posted than you’ll probably ever be able to can! Last year I participated in Tigress’ 2010 Can Jam. All my recipes are here if you’re interested. I tried lots of things I wouldn’t have tried without the motivation of a blog challenge. Some of them I’ll definitely make again like Herbed Strawberry-Balsamic Jam. Others like my Lemon-Ginger Marmalade will be passed over (or at least modified before they are tried again).
This year Tigress has a different plan so we are, so far, Can Jam-less. I still want to can regularly and I still sometimes need a little extra motivation so I decided that canning my way through the old recipes would be a good way to keep going.
My inspiration for January’s challenge comes from Prospect: The Pantry. She tried Meyer Lemon Marmalade three ways. All three varieties sounded delicious to me but the featured spice for the January 2011 Spice Rack Challenge is rosemary so this seemed like the natural choice. Besides, as much as I love ginger, I tried a lemon-ginger marmalade last year.
Rosemary-Meyer Lemon Marmalade
About 8 Meyer Lemons (yields ~ 3 cups sliced)
1 7/8 cups water
About 2 1/4 cups sugar
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Prepare the lemons. Wash them and quarter them lengthwise. Remove the seeds and the pith from the center; set aside for later. Slice the quarters into 1/8″ slices.
Combine the lemon slices and about 1 7/8 cup water in a large saucepan. Add a large (2-3″) sprig of rosemary to the pot, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, cool, cover and set aside overnight in the refrigerator. I actually let mine steep for three days because I couldn’t get back to it any sooner.
Place a saucer in the freezer to test for set later.
Prepare boiling water bath and clean jars/lids.
Remove the rosemary sprig from the lemon slices and add it to the seeds you have saved. Return the pan to the stove and simmer about 15 minutes. Measure the lemon mixture and add 3/4 cup sugar for every cup of lemons. I had three cups of lemon/juice so I added 2 1/4 cups of sugar. Wrap the reserved seeds and the rosemary sprig in a section of cheesecloth and tie it with a string. Put the lemons, sugar and cheesecloth into the pan and cook at a medium boil for about 25 minutes or until a spoonful of marmalade dropped onto the frozen saucer doesn’t run.
Remove the cheesecloth and ladle marmalade into hot jars. Process in boiling water bath for ten minutes. Turn off stove and let jars rest in bath for 5 minutes. Remove to counter to cool undisturbed.
This recipe made three half-pint jars plus enough left over for me to sample. I’m glad I tried this recipe because after last year’s trials with marmalade I was close to giving up. The set is perfect on this batch and the flavor is wonderful like lemonade in a jar. The rosemary flavor is very subtle. If Meyer Lemons weren’t SO expensive I’d go buy some and make another batch right now.