This is the first time I’ve made lime marmalade, it’s the first year that we’ve had so many limes! As a child I helped my dad make marmalade and I can remember once when using a pressure cooker we took the valve off the top and boiling molten marmalade shot out like a geyser all over the kitchen ceiling, as you can imagine my mum wasn’t impressed. My dad still makes very dark thick cut marmalade each year.
I used 1kg of limes, 1kg of sugar, 2 liters of water and 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda (which I read helps balance the acidity which helps ensure that the marmalade sets). I started by halving the limes and squeezing out the juice, in a normal lemon juicer. The juice can be poured into a large stainless steel pan with the water which you can begin to heat. The pips and pith should be kept, once you have juiced all the limes take a piece of muslin and use it to line a bowl, double thickness, and then put all the pips and pith in the middle and then draw up the sides of the muslin to form a ball with and tie it so that the pips and pips can’t escape and then put this ball in the pan, you can tie it to one of the handles. Next cut the lime rinds into quarters and the slice the rind thinly and the add it to the saucepan.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 90mins until the strips of rind are soft and break in half easily. Meanwhile was 8-10 jam jars in hot soapy water then rinse and dry them. About 30 mins after you begin simmering the marmalade mixture turn your oven on to 175 degrees C / 350 F and heat the sugar up in a baking tin. Heating the sugar speeds up the cooking process. Take the muslin bag out of the saucepan, with a slotted spoon squeeze as much of the liquid out of it as you can as this contains the pectin that will make the marmalade set, put it aside to cool. Then poor the hot sugar into the saucepan and bring up to a fast boil, stirring occasionally. While you are doing this put your jam jars in the oven and turn off the heat. Put a couple of saucers into the fridge. Boil the marmalade for about 30 mins the marmalade will have reduced down a bit then turn down the heat and take a teaspoon of the marmalade liquid from the pan and put it on a cool saucer and put it back in the fridge for a couple of minutes. Then check to see if it has set, it should have thickened and become sticky and wrinkle if youtry and move it with a finger. If it sets then turn off the heat, if not bring the marmalade back to a fast boil for 10 minutes and test it gain, continue until the marmalade sets. The boiling marmalade will also appear thicker and more glossy when it’s ready. Once it is ready turn off the heat, remove any sum from the surface and leave for 15 mins before ladling into the warm jars. If you want to ensure it lasts a long time cut a circle of parchment paper and put it on the top of the marmalade. Seal the jars once it’s cooled a bit and then wipe the jars to remove any marmalade from the outside and label. Preserves make great gifts.