The Tigress' Can Jam has begun! I'm so excited to be participating in this challenge! I'm looking forward to learning more about the canning process and making some more delicious jams. We'll also be doing some pickling … another experience to enjoy. I've made pickles from cucumbers but that's about the extent of my pickling adventures so far. So look out! Here we come...
The theme for this month is citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, clementines, kumquats, etc). I love citrus so I had a hard time deciding which one I wanted to use. Plus, I've already made citrus marmalade, tangerine marmalade, festive marmalade, and grapefruit marmalade.
I thought about making a marmalade with a mixture of citrus but decided at the last minute to use Persian limes. Well, wouldn't you know it! Tigress, the gracious host of this challenge, decided to use limes as well. I had already started the process when I read her post or I might've chosen a different citrus. I guess it's no biggie though. As many participants as there are in this challenge, some of us are bound to pick the same fruit. It'll be fun to see all of the different jams that everyone makes.
My oldest son was so excited when he found out I was making this marmalade. He loves anything green - especially limes. He walked in the door and said, "I smell cinnamon and citrus!" I was baking a chocolate cinnamon babka and peeling these limes the same night so he had it right! Check out the chocolate babka here.
Lime Marmalade (with Persian Limes)Yield: About 3 1/2 Pints or Seven 8oz Jars
Original recipe from: http://homecooking.about.com/od/jellyrecipes/r/bljelly34.htm.
This recipe makes a huge batch so I adjusted the ingredients to make it more manageable. It still made enough marmalade to share, but I think 3 1/2 pints is more manageable than 10 pints - yikes!
1 1/2 pounds Persian limes (about 9)
4.5 cups water
3 pounds (6 cups) sugar
I started following the instructions included with the recipe, but partway through decided I liked the process for making grapefruit marmalade from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving better so I used that process for making this marmalade instead.
This simple lime marmalade uses only 3 ingredients. The recipe is easy, but plan ahead for the limes to soak overnight to remove bitterness.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Peel the limes and cut the zest into thin strips. Cut the peeled limes in half and squeeze the juice. Set the juice aside. I put the juice in with the lime zests.
Here’s what the recipe says to do next: Scrape the pulp and seeds from the lime halves. Place in a cheesecloth bag. Place the cheesecloth bag, zest, juice, and water in a 6-quart saucepan, then cover them and soak overnight, or for about 8 hours.
My limes didn’t have any seeds and I wanted to use the pulp so …
This is what I did: I put the zests, juice, water, and pulp in a large pot and brought it to boil over medium-high heat.
I boiled the mixture gently for 10 minutes. Then I covered the pot and let it sit at room temperature for about 18 hours to remove the bitterness.
After the mixture had rested for about 18 hours, I prepared the canner, jars and lids for water-bath canning. For detailed instructions on water-bath canning, please refer to the instructions on the National Center for Home Preservation's site.
Then I brought the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. I let it boil about 15 minutes, until the peel was tender.
Then you remove it from the heat and measure the fruit mixture. Return the mixture to the pot and bring it back to boil. Maintaining boil, gradually stir in 1 cup sugar for each cup of fruit. I had almost 3 pounds of fruit mixture so I used 3 pounds (6 cups) of sugar. Boil hard, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches gel stage, about 30 minutes.
According to the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, there are three different methods for determining when it reaches gel stage. I chose the candy thermometer test because this is the one the book said is the most reliable. Maybe I’ll try the sheet test or the refrigerator (actually freezer) test next time to compare.
To reach gel stage, the mixture should register 220 degrees on the thermometer when it is placed in a vertical position. Make sure it does not contact the surface of the pot.
Once the mixture has reach gel stage, skim off the foam. This is the fun part because I get to eat the foam. Mmmm…It sure tastes good!
Ladle marmalade into clean jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles if necessary and adjust headspace. I had to remove the air bubbles. You can see them in the jar in the photo below. Wipe the rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to boil and process for 10 minutes, up to 1,000 feet altitude. If you live in a higher altitude or need more detailed instructions on water-bath canning, please refer to the instructions on this site: National Center for Home Preservation.
Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars from water. Let the jars sit on the counter overnight until they seal. Once the jars have cooled and completely sealed, move them to a cool dry place for storage. If any jars do not seal, put them in the refrigerator to eat.
You’ll probably want to give some of this marmalade away but be sure to keep some for yourself.
1/29/2010 Update: After all was said and done, this jam didn’t set as well as I would’ve liked. It turned out a little bit runny so I put it in the refrigerator to store. I just opened a jar and had some on a piece of sprouted wheat toast. It tastes wonderful! No bitterness, just a delicious lime flavor. Yummy!
Happy Canning and Baking!
Here are some of the references I use in my canning adventures. You might enjoy them as well:
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
- Keeping The Harvest: Discover the Homegrown Goodness of Putting Up Your Own Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
- National Center for Home Preservation