Before I put Summer of Funner to rest, there was one Love-to-Do List item that I just had to make. I’ve always wanted to make a marmalade to sigh for, most particularly, a Lemon Ginger Champagne Marmalade. I didn’t even really know if such a thing had ever existed before. I only knew that I wanted to taste one, and then, if it was good, to make enough for the family to spread all over everything. Mission accomplished!
After reading and cooking from Elizabeth Field’s wonderful Marmalade for some time now [her tomato marmalade recipe, by the way, is worth the purchase of the book], I’ve come up wtih one stellar recipe of my own! The script below is a bit of a mashup of two of Field’s recipes: her Shredded Lemon Marmalade, and her Lemon and Ginger with Mint Marmalade, with my own additions of champagne and Elderflower Cordial [if you don’t have the latter, you can either buy some from Ikea or a specialty store, make some, or just add St. Germain].
Now, there are certainly easier ways to prep your marmalade than the one in this recipe. The quickest way about it seems to be to half the citrus, remove the seeds, slice the citrus as thin as possible, and then chop it up in small bits or pulse it in the food processor. Of course, with that much pith in the pot, you’re bound to have quite a tart marma! [Oh, but I want that to be my new nickname!] My preferred method, however, is to peel the rind with a vegetable peeler, slice it into glorious, slivery match-sticks, then remove the pith from the body of the citrus with a knife, remove the seeds, and pulverize the remaining pulp and thinner membranes and juices to add back into the marmy.
Of course, the wonderful thing about citrus marmalades, lemon, in particular, is the amount of natural pectin the citrus contains. So you can cook these babies without adding store-bought powdered or liquid pectins. And, to make the most out of the pectin in a citrus marmalade, you can conserve all of those pits and piths and membranes, pack them into a little jelly bag, and soak them with your rinds. What a wonderful way to use the entirety of the fruit!
All in all, it takes about 4-5 hours to make the marmalade below. Although, at least 90 minutes of that time is just waiting for the rinds to soak on a low boil, which makes for a lovely break, and another 40 is really just stirring and watching. So, yes, “marma day” can be a commitment. However, I got 13 quarter pints out of this little powerhouse of a recipe! Now, that’s something! Think of all the holiday presents, anytime presents, me-on-a-Monday-with-a-crusty-loaf-presents! And, of course, as a reward for your time, “marmies” everywhere can treat themselves to the rest of the champagne in the bottle!