Friday, April 1, 2016

Meyer Lemon and Lavender Jam

I made this recipe from Marisa of Food in Jars the day after she posted it.  I didn't make as much as she did, but I easily could have.  I have a lot of lemons, and the recent weather made the Meyer and Valencia branches bloom up a storm.

What piqued my interest, other than having all the ingredients on hand, was that it isn't marmalade.  You put the whole lemon, minus the seeds, in the blender.  You still get the pectin properties of the rind, but in a puréed form.

I did process these for the pantry, but I'm scaling it down here for a batch that's both cheaper and something you can go through in a few weeks for refrigerator storage.

*1 lb Meyer lemons
*scant 1 tsp dried culinary lavender
1 C sugar

1.  Thoroughly wash lemons and trim off the stem and bottom ends.  Place in a saucepan in one layer and just cover with water.  Place lavender in a cheesecloth or tea ball and dangle into the water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to medium and cook until lemons are soft to the touch but not mushy, about 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool until easy to handle.
2.  Remove tea ball, but don't throw out the water.  Set a sieve over a shallow skillet.  In the sieve, cut the lemons in half and discard the seeds.  Dump contents of sieve and anything that ran out into the pan into a blender.  Add 1-1/2 C of the cooking liquid and purée until fairly smooth.  A few chunky bits are ok for character.  Pour everything back into the skillet.  It's going to look foamy from all the air whipped into it.  That settles out as it cooks.

3.  If you're going to process the jam, now is the time to start boiling water for it and sterilizing the jars. Bring jam to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat to medium-high and continue to boil until thick, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching and skimming off any scum spots.  It will take at least 20 minutes.  When you get hit by a lava spit, it's probably done.  Check to see that it coats the back of a spoon.

4.  If processing, fill jars, wipe rims, set lids, and tighten bands finger-tight.  Process in boiling water bath for ten minutes.  If not, allow to cool to room temperature, place in a sealable container, and refrigerate.

Makes about 1 pint to 3 cups, depending how far you let it boil down

Difficulty rating  π

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