Do you have an abundance of wacky citrus fruit and it is the middle of winter? That probably means you followed Matt’s advice from growing citrus indoors… or mine from my own experiences – and now, you need something wonderful to do with all that beautiful fresh fruit. Do this, Homegrown Provençale Citrus Marmalade, you won’t regret it.
This is a long three-day recipe, but don’t let it discourage you. Two days to soak the rind, and only a couple of hours in front of a hot stove on the third day to cook it. Start on a Friday, and you can jar it up on a Snowy Sunday afternoon!
You will need:
1 copper confiture pot (A luxury, but once you use one, you will never go back. Alternatively, use a large enamel or stainless steel pot with lots of surface area to allow for evaporation.)
10 clean, sterilized jars with jar rubbers
3 lbs of mixed fresh citrus – see note*
8 Cups of water
5 lb. of granulated sugar
3 sprigs of dried culinary Lavender flowers (optional)
Wash & cut fruit into quarters, then into thin slices around 1/8” thick. Remove seeds, cover with water (add more if needed). Keep cool, or refrigerate for 24 hours.
Add three stems of lavender (don’t be tempted to add more, it’s strong!) to soaked citrus and water to confiture pot and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for another 24 hours.
Heat your jars, (in the oven at 200°. Or keep hot in a dishwasher). Weigh the liquid and citrus rind from the previous day, and then add 1.5 lbs. sugar per liquid weight (around 4–5 lb of sugar). Bring to a rolling boil again, and reduce. Watch carefully, but it can take up to an hour. Using a cold spoon, check thickness by putting a spoonful into the freezer for a few minutes. The marmalade should be as thick as soft jam or warm honey. Be careful to not over-boil, as the mixture can caramelize very quickly and develop a burnt flavor.
Remove from heat, and immediately fill hot jars and seal them with your preferred canning method.
Makes 8– 12 jars, depending on size.
*While ‘fast’ recipes often rely on using just orange rind, old-fashioned ‘slow’ recipes focus equally on both the rind and the white pith (with all-citron recipes, the flavor is actually in the rind). The percentage of each type of fruit is up to you, but I suggest using 70% sweet citrus (Meyer Lemon or oranges), with the balance comprised of any variation of smaller or more interesting citrus (kumquats, sour oranges and grapefruit). I avoid using lime, as the green zest turns brown during this longer cooking process. If you want lime, add the zest in at the last minute. If using store bought fruit, be certain it is organic, as you will be consuming the rind.
images by Matt mattus