When life (via a generous friend) gives you Meyer lemons, make marmalade, and maybe an almond and lemon cake – both Bijouxs, both easy and here’s how.
Meyer Lemon Marmalade and an Almond & Lemon cake are easily made from a few pounds of Meyer lemons – abundant now in local farmer’s markets and on your neighbor’s trees. Meyers are a bit like a cross between a lemon and an orange, smallish, with a shiny orange-yellow skin, and a much thinner rind that most lemons, so delicious.
I have a love affair with all things citrus. Growing up in Southern California many of us remember as children running through the citrus groves then bordering our suburban homes; spending hours playing hide and seek among the groves, taking refreshments as needed provided by the generous trees. My childhood home bordered on orange and lemon groves, bounded on one side by the grounds of a beautiful California Mission and the other side by a hulking Sunkist processing plant. Many hours, days, perhaps years were spent in the adjacent acres of groves, playing, searching for arrowheads, climbing trees and gorging on the abundant fruit. At times when the plant was processing their citrus bounty, the air would become heavy with the viscous citrus oils and I would then return home covered with a “breading” of dirt and dust held firmly in place by a fragrant base of citrus oil. My love affair with citrus had begun.
Making Meyer lemon marmalade sounds daunting, but it is really simple, takes no special equipment, just a few hours of your time, and provides incredible results. This recipe is easy and will give you enough marmalade to enjoy and share with friends.
Scraping the pulp and seeds from the rinds after you have juiced the lemons takes a little time, but once you get the hang of it goes quite quickly. I used a teaspoon and started along the top edge of each rind, scraping downward while turning the rind, making it possible to remove the pulp in one piece from each rind. The thinner rind of the Meyer makes it easy to then cut the rind into thin strips. From there on out you are just boiling the rinds, the juices, and sugar for about 30 minutes, and you have your own “artisan” marmalade. I officially canned the marmalade using my favorite Weck canning jars, purchased from favorite vendor, Heath Ceramics. Information and instructions for canning is on the Weck website.
With Meyer lemons to spare, I mixed up a quick one-bowl Almond and Lemon Cake (more like a bread) to accompany the marmalade. I based it on an Italian Torta di Mandorle e Limone recipe from a Rogers and Gray cookbook. Be warned, this is not a sweet cake, it is rather dense, slightly savory, using olive oil instead of butter, and textured with ground raw almonds. The cake makes a nice contrast to the sweet marmalade.
Meyer Lemon Marmalade another simple, handmade Bijouxs to share. I just noticed out the window my orange tree is ready to harvest, yes, a Southern California love affair with citrus.