Subscribe To Rosie Bakes A 'Peace' of Cake

Monday, 7 April 2008

Lemon & Lime Marmalade

Lemon & Lime Marmalade

Back view of jar showing the zest suspending in the preserve

I couldn't wait to get out my jam jars, preserving equipment for this wonderful ‘Putting Up’ Event. I had some lemon and limes, which I thought would make an excellent combination for marmalade. I have a fondness for using preserves in my baking but nothing beats a warm toasted slice of bread with lashings of marmalade in my opinion! This marmalade isn’t as sweet as some and gives a wonderful sharp edge to it and both citrus flavours shine through remarkably to give a clean taste to your palette. Note you need to start this recipe the night before.

I will try and guide you through the stages of this preserve to the best of my knowledge that I have learnt from making my own preserves. Of course I don’t proclaim to know everything and remain to learn all the time, so please feel free to leave any feedback. I am always willing to learn new procedures or valuable tips!

The setting point is one that can be hard to grasp at first, as I found to my cost when I first started making preserves. I have tried to explain to the best of my ability what to look for in a setting point.

I managed to yield three 450g (1lb) jars and ¾ filled a fourth 450g (1lb) jar from this recipe.

Lemon & Lime Marmalade
225g (8 oz) lemons
225g (8 oz) limes
15 litters (2½ pints) cold water
1.125kg (2½ lb) caster sugar
You will also need 4 x 450g (1lb) jam jars with lids or covers


Wash your preserving pan or heavy based large pan in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly on a clean tea towel.

Taking the lemons and limes, wash in hot water to remove any wax if they are not organic and to ensure the skins are fully clean. Dry thoroughly on a clean tea towel. Cut the fruit in half squeezing out all the juice and placing in a jug covered over in the fridge for the next day. Any pips and pulp scoop out and place into a muslin in the middle, tie tightly with string around the top to encase all the pips and pulp leaving a little extra string to tie to the handle if possible onto the preserving pan. Place the muslin bag of pips and pulp into the preserving pan with the water. Slice the zest and pith into thin strips and place this in the preserving pan. Cover over with foil or a lid and leave to soak overnight.

Showing preserving equipment I use minus jam jars, lids and labels

Next day, wash all the jam jars and equipment in hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly on a clean tea towel. Heat the oven on a low heat and place the jars on a baking tray and place in the oven to sterilise. Sterilise all lids or if using a kilnar jar the rubber seal in boiling water in a bowl or pan, do not place these in the oven.

Place two side plates in the freezer for the setting point if not using a sugar thermometer.

You can at this stage also warm the sugar through in the low oven on a large baking tray; this will help dissolve the sugar quicker when added to the preserving pan.

Place the preserving pan on a low heat on the stove and let it simmer until the zest is soft enough. You will need to keep the pan covered either by a lid or foil to ensure that you don’t lose fluid, (it can take an hour or more for the zest to soften). You can test to see if the zest is soft enough by carefully taking a strip out and squeezing through your finger and thumb, it should give easily and break into two. Remove the muslin bag of pips and pulp and squeeze out any fluids, being careful as this will be hot then discard the muslin bag and contents.

The zest soft after a simmer

If using a sugar thermometer clip this onto the side of your pan making sure the base is in the liquid. Now add all the sugar and lemon and lime juice in the jug, keeping the heat low and stirring with a large handled wooden spoon until all the sugar has dissolved. You can test this also by looking at the back of a wooden spoon to see if there are any signs of sugar crystals clinging to it. The sugar MUST BE fully dissolved before going on to the next stage.

A rolling rapid boil

Increase the heat and bring to a rolling rapid boil and boil until setting point is reached, making sure you remain to keep stirring to prevent the contents burning. This will be very hot at this stage so this is why I recommend a long handle wooden spoon to help prevent any splashes onto the skin. Setting point can be reached at any point from 5 – 20 minutes or even longer in some cases. Signs to look for in a set point would be, the fruit will not rise as vigorously and it makes less noise when bubbling and large bubbles appear on the surface. Always remove the preserving pan off the heat when testing for setting point. The sugar thermometer will read on the jam setting when ready or take a plate out of the freezer and place a teaspoon of the preserve on it. Leave this to cool and with your finger push through the middle, you will notice a wrinkle to the skin of the preserve and clearly a line through the centre where your finger has been. If the set is not reached place back on the heat and boil rapidly once again for 5 minutes, take off the heat and try again as above to see if setting point is reached.

Testing for setting point with a sugar thermometer

Testing for setting point with a plate

You can also judge before taking off the heat to test for a set by coating the back of a wooden spoon, and you will notice drops of jelly forming on the bottom of the spoon.

Showing jelly droplets on the back of a wooden spoon

When the correct set is achieved leave the preserve to cool a little giving a stir from time to time. You will notice the zest starting to suspend in the jelly of the preserve. If you pot up to early the zest will not suspend equally throughout the preserve.

It’s now time for potting up the preserve. Bring out the warm jars from the oven and place on a heat proof surface. Using a ladle or large spoon and jam funnel if you have one, fill the jars up to the brim, trying not to leave any gaps between the lid and the jar. This helps elevate any bacteria forming between the lid and jar in storage. With a clean cloth wipe off any stickiness around the outside lip of the jar and seal down with the lids.

Potting up my preserves

Leave the preserve to cool then wipe the outside of each jar to remove any spilt preserve and dry with a clean cloth. Place on the labels and it’s helpful to include the date the preserve was made. You can jazz your jars up with circles of cut fabric or thick wrapping paper tied with a thin ribbon. These make great gifts for family and or friends.


Dhanggit said...

oh im the first :-)

thanks for this step by step guide on preparing this recipe rosie..i bet this will definitely a big hit: lime and lemon marmalade.;i feel like singing hehehe

btw, i need to post my pudding challenge first before i join this new putting up blogging event..count me in dear :-)

ruthEbabes said...

Oooh I love marmalade, this sounds fantastic! and good for you getting yours all done already!

Rosie said...

Hi Dhanggit , yippee yes you’re the first!! Great news on joining this event – thanks :)

My pleasure sweetie to share with you all. I'm also looking forward to viewing your pudding too :D

Hi Ruth, thanks sweetie :D I thought if I got a preserve posted asap it may be of help to anyone who’s just starting out on making preserves.

Thanks ladies for popping by and really lovely to *see* you here!

Rosie x

Donna said...

You're good!! Really good!! This looks like something I might be able to do...but Only because you showed us How in pictures!! I'm Pitiful!!LOL...Thanks Sweetie!!hughugs

Happy cook said...

Hi Rosie you have indeed putting up with these delicious Marmalade.
It looks so good and love they way you have shown how to make them.
I have never made marmalade at home.

nicisme said...

Very nice Rosie, I'd be happy to have that on my toast!

Retno Prihadana said...

Rosie, It´s really interesting. Thank you for sharing. I think, I´d like to join this ´Putting up´ event.

Maria said...

I love marmalade too. Great job Rosie!


Bellini Valli said...

Looks like you had a busy weekend Rosie:D I hope you had a lovely slice of toast with your new marmalade:D

Peter M said...

I have an adult appreciation of citrus marmalades. The tang & sweet must play very well.

Rose said...

Rosie, thank you so much for posting this step by step process and all your wonderful photos to help guide us along the way. It will be very useful for my 'second' attempt of making marmalade. I have purchased a thermometer today, so hopefully, that will help.

Gloria said...

Nice recipe Rosie. I want to participate if I can in "Purtting up" event. I will when I have ready with my jams. xxx Gloria

giz said...

You're fully equipped - armed and dangerous - that marmalade could find a very good home on a piece of heavy bread - better than steak.

Dhivya said...

wow!girl u have lot of patience!looks so perfect

Kevin said...

I have made some berry jams but I have yet to try making a citrus preserve. It sounds like fun.

RecipeGirl said...

Boy are you quick! Love the step by step instruction. I have never preserved anything, though I've always wanted to. I'm searching for recipes!

Rosie said...

Hi everyone, I thoroughly enjoyed making my marmalade for this post. I tried to incorporate as much information as possible into this post for anyone who is quite new to making marmalade.

Thank you all for your positive feedback and if you have any useful procedures or tips you want to add please do feel free to do so.

I did have marmalade on toast and sat and savoured every bite lol I am hoping to make a marmalade cake this week with some of the citrus preserve – I will keep you all posted :D

I am excited and thrilled that some of you will be joining in on this event too – what a great idea from our ‘dear Pixie’ for an event!! :D

Many thanks everyone and lovely to *see* you all

Rosie x

The Caked Crusader said...

I always use the 'frozen' plate test too!
Your preserves look lovely

Deborah said...

I have always wanted to make marmalade, but haven't yet. I usually end up going crazy when I can preserves and end up with too many!!

Psychgrad said...

You make it look so easy!

Ack..I need a bigger kitchen to store these preserving supplies.

Saswati said...

Rosie you are one real talented person...and such beautiful step by step procedure...thanx for sharing the recipe dear.

Uma said...

Wow, you sure are a pro, Rosie! Wonderful instructions. Yummy looking marmalade.

Ivy said...

I love lemon jam although I have not made any yet. I make orange and citrus jam but have never used a thermometre. I love your labels. I do this as well.

Emiline said...

Wow, you rock! I need help in this department.

Margaret said...

The lemon and lime marmalade looks great Rosie. Much better than that horrible sweet bought stuff.

Rosie said...

Hi The Caked Crusader, Awe thanks :) When I brought my preserving pan the sugar thermometer came with it but before hand I was using the plate test all the time.

Hi Deborah, I also have a stock of preserves on my shelves too because I make way over what I need too. Some I give away as presents under the agreement I have my jars back lol

Hi Psychgrad, thanks :) It’s like anything isn’t it once the art is mastered its plain sailing from there onwards. :)

Hi Saswati , oh how sweet of you and it’s my pleasure to share with you all the little knowledge I know on preserving :)

Hi Uma, thank you and yes this did taste lovely on a warn slice of toast heehee :)

Hi Ivy, you must be a pro at preserving and I always used a plate until my thermometer came with my preserving pan. I love to add labels to my preserves also the date to use up the oldest first :)

Hi Emiline, any form of citrus curd is great to start off with in preserving. Once you get the feel for a set too you’ll be flying away huge making batches ;)

Hi M, I was only thinking when making this marmalade how much colourings must be put in at a factory to get that bright green for lime. You are so right it does taste far superior to any shop brought marmalade when you make it yourself and you know what goes in it! :)

Many thanks folks for your great support with this “Putting up” event and also for your lovely comments. Please keep them coming if you have any valuable advice to share on any great tips or procedures.

Best wishes Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Dear Rosie ,

I shall be expecting a present of a dozen jars or so !

Kitty X

Mansi Desai said...

that looks like a classic marmalade! I'd love to have a jar if you have any extra rosie:)

violets said...

Fantastic Rosie well done for getting on Tastespotting, what a lovely photo and your marmalade is fabulous too.

btw you jam pan knocks mine into fits, its a right tatty old thing compared to yours, I think its time I invested in a new one.

Vi xx

Rosie said...

Hi Kitty, I am sure you will be trying out some of this very soon :D

Hi Mansi, I’ll pass you a jar next time I make some :D

Hi Vi. Thank you! I did upload my jars of marmalade on Tastespotting,but it seems they preferred the spoon pic *giggle*

I had to buy a pan Vi only because I was using an old stock pot!

Thanks everyone for popping by and really lovely to *see* you here!

Rosie x

Danae55 said...

Rosie x!
I'm a world away but I truly appreciate the way you showed how to tell if marmalade has set up propoerly. I've been putting up jellies and marmalades for 35 years and I usually use the frozen-metal-spoon-with-drips method. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't. I've been known to have to open all the jars and redo everything. Maybe YOUR METHOD is my saving grace. Thanks!

Rosie said...

Hi Danae55 :) a warm welcome and how lovely to *meet* you! Gosh 35 yrs of putting up jellies and marmalades, I bet you have many wonderful jars of different fruits etc!! It's always lovely to hear feedback on how tips or recipes go!! Many thanks for this - Rosie x