Friday, August 27, 2010

The Berry Merry Marma-Lady

I've been keeping my eye out for Alton Brown's Good Eats cookbook at all the bookstores I got to. It's $37 at the UBookstore, and I just don't want to spend that much. I was looking at Costco and they didn't have it, but oh the joy, look what they did have:

I snatched it up because golly, I just couldn't leave it all alone in the store....

Upon reading the first half about jams, jellies, preserves, and marmalades, I found one recipe that I couldn't pass up: Strawberry Lemon Marmalade. NOM NOM NOM NOM. How can you resist that? It's like my favorite summer drink, but condensed and on toast! Perfect.

Bought some strawberries when they were on sale about a week before I made the jam, I was that excited. Got my dear friend The Crist, to come over and help. She helped with the blackberry jam, too. Right off the bat, we ran into problems. I turned on the faucet to fill the canning pot and the water was an ugly murky brow. There is some serious road construction going on in my neighborhood and we decided they must have broke a pipe.

After yet another trip to the grocery store, my fourth of the day, and the same store I had JUST come out of before heading home, I had the water needed to fill the pot, with a little extra for drinking until they fixed my pipes.

We had some serious team work going on, with her processing the strawberries and me manhandling the lemons. I've gotten pretty good at zesting citrus fruits -- vegetable peelers work wonders. After that, we had some good luck and didn't have any problems.

Aside from a missing lid that jumped out of the hot water bath, and the recipe saying we needed less jars than we filled.

It's been sitting on the table for a couple days now and I can't wait to crack open a jar to try it. But with peach butter, bluebarb and blackberry jam all sitting there as well, I just can't do it. My fridge just isn't big enough for four jam jars! Much less one of lemon curd and one of orange marmalade.

Strawberry Lemon Marmalade
Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

1/4 cup thinly sliced lemon peel
4 cups hulled and crushed strawberries (from about 2 quarts whole strawberries)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
6 cups granulated sugar

Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

In a sauce pan, place the lemon peel and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 5 minutes.  Drain teh lemon peel, discarding the water and reserving the peel.  Place crushed strawberries, lemon peel, and lemon juice in a large, non-reactive pan.  Stir in pectin until it is well dissolved.  Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Add the sugar all at once.  While stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil that can't be stirred down.  Continue stirring and boiling for 1 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Skim any foam off the top of the marmalde mixture.*

Carefully transfer the marmalade into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe the rims, add the lids, then screw into place.  Place the jars in the canner.

Bring the canner to a full boil, then process for 10 minutes.  Remove the canner from the heat, allow to set for 5 minutes, then open the lid and remove the jars.  Allow the jars to cool overnight.  Makes about 8 half-pint jars.**

*After all was said and done, the marmalade looks tasty and delicious, but all of the fruit floated to the top of the jars during processing.  I told this to my canning guru (Mom), and she told me most recipes say to remove from heat and continue stirring for about 5 minutes, or until it starts to firm and fruit no longer immediately floats to the top.  She's so smart.

**We made 8 half pint jars. And then three more. I'd say prep a total of 12 jars, just to be on the safe side.

1 comment:

  1. What a canning extravaganza! Your bluebarb sounds delicious. I have to learn to can this autumn. Our rental house has a plum tree - I was told they are Italian plums - and it is full of fruit. I'm assuming I'll make plum jam, maybe some sweet/sour plum sauce for asian cooking, if I can figure out how. I'm employing a friend who knows these things better, so she'll get to take some of the bounty. But I'll be reading these blog posts for tips!