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Tuesday, 20 September 2005
Topic: Recipes and Food
I've been busy making some marmalade, my husband's favourite breakfast spread. Yesterday, it was tangy Ginger Marmalade - his absolute favourite! And today, some tangy Lemon Marmalade. It's not such a big job as people imagine because I cheat! Oh, yes, not for me slicing the rind thinly and boiling for a couple of hours or more! No, I buy a tin of ready prepared pulp called Mamade - just add sugar and water. Oh, and I always add the zest and juice of a least one lemon. Make sure that you include the juice in the total amount of water.

Even for the lemon marmalade? Oh, yes, especially for the lemon marmalade - I like it tangy, you see. Also, adding lemon brings out the flavour of the ginger marmalade and counteracts the sweetness from the sugar syrup in the jar of stem ginger. The ginger marmalade takes the longest to prepare because I add the entire contents of a 350 gram jar of stem ginger in sugar syrup; I chop the ginger up finely the old fashioned way.

Throw it all in the preserving pan and stir until it boils. Reduce the heat and keep boiling for about 15 minutes. This is when I keep an eye on my sugar thermometer; as soon as it reaches the jam mark, I know the marmalade is ready. Leave to cool for about five minutes and then ladle into hot, sterilised jam jars using a jam funnel, a very useful tool which makes the job less messy. (I sterilise my jars in the oven at 220 degrees centigrade.)

Pop a wax circle on top of the marmalade and seal with a good unmarked lid or, preferably, a brand new one - I get mine from a local shop called 'Lakeland Limited'. They sell packs of 12 twist off lids in white or in mixed packs with a red and blue 'gingham' design. A point worth knowing, if you want to make marmalade for the local church bazaar, you must use brand new lids to comply with the regulations on selling food.

Sometimes, I add gin to my lemon marmalade. An easy guide is about one dessertspoonful (10 ml) to a 1lb jam jar. Stir the contents with a knife and leave that jar to mature for 2-3 months before opening.

Must buy some fruity lemon pancakes - they are 'scrummmmptiously deeelicious' with my lemon marmalade! Sorry, Mr Robertson, your Silver Shred 'lemon' marmalade hardly deserves the name!

Posted by Noviomagus at 18:36 BST Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink

Wednesday, 21 September 2005 - 00:22 BST

Name: Joanna

I did make marmalade once about 45 years ago. It was not a success so I didn't try again. However your spreads sound delicious, so maybe I'll give it another go.
My mother was a dedicated jam-maker at the end of each summer. Seems to me that she had quite a few rules and tricks...none of which I know anything about, unfortunately.

What happens to the lemon marmalade with gin? Does it ferment up to about 40 proof, making subsequent breakfasts very festive? :-)

Wednesday, 21 September 2005 - 11:10 BST

Name: Tessa

The heat usually evaporates all the alcohol away. However, the flavour remains and needs a while to permeate through.

Jam is very easy to make but you must measure the liquid carefully. Follow the guidance for the fruit, which should be barely ripe. If the fruit is riper, you may need to reduce the liquid slightly. I usually add some lemon juice (included in the measure of liquid) as this enhances the flavour of any fruit and also helps in the setting. One exception is gooseberry jam as gooseberries are very high in pectin. Use ordinary preserving sugar unless the fruit is low in pectin (strawberries, cherries, pears, rhubarb) when you can either add even more lemon juice or buy preserving sugar with pectin included.

As the liquid evaporates from your jam, the temperature rises. This is one reason why too much liquid can spoil a jam because you have to boil it too long. I think a sugar thermometer is essential as this takes away the guess work and you know that it is ready when it reaches the jam mark. If it gets too hot, the jam will start to crystalise and there's not much you can do after that.

Try the Mamade - it is so easy. Add the juice and zest of at least half a lemon - it definitely improves the flavour and the set. If you want to add whisky or brandy, do it when the pan is off the heat at the last minute or add to a jam jar if you want some of both. Have fun. :-))

Thursday, 17 November 2005 - 10:09 GMT

Name: Robert

Yesterday I made some Mamade Orange Marmalade.
Added juice of lemon and half a glass of whiskey.
My question is: don't you find it too sweet using 1.8 kgs of sugar? I used 1.3 kgs but it is still too sweet for me. (It also did not set so well; that could be due to too little sugar or temperature. Didn't use thermo - too lazy!).
What are your thoughts on that?
PS. Can is 850 gms. Add half again water gives 1225 gms. On 50:50 fruit-sugar rule, that is 1225 gms sugar.

Thursday, 17 November 2005 - 10:11 GMT

Name: Robert

Sorry, correction: I used 1.5 kgs (still too sweet, not bitter).

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