LIME AND CHILLI MARMALADE
- 5 limes
- 1 medium sized thin skinned lemon
The rule I use is 1-2-3. 1 Quantity citrus peels (using weight measurement), 2 quantities white sugar (using weight measurement), 3 quantities juice and water (using liquid measurement). This way you can adjust your sugar and water to the amount of citrus you have on hand.
You will need a saucepan to cook in and a square of muslin cloth or any clean thin cotton cloth. I cut a 30 x 30cm square from an old soft cotton bedsheet. Also have a piece of string or a small cable tie on hand to tie up the cloth once the seeds, extra pith and membranes has to go into the saucepan with liquid.
For this recipe I used 5 limes and 1 medium sized thin skinned lemon. Wash the citrus fruits with warm water and liquid Dettol handwash soap and use a soft bristle brush to get any residue out of the dimpled skin. Next soak in a Milton and warm water solution for half an hour. Rinse off thoroughly and dry.
Cut in half and squeeze the juice out with a juicer. You want to get every last bit of moisture out of the citrus. Pour the juice into a measuring cup and put any seeds there might be on the piece of cloth.
Cut the halved citrus peels into quarters and scrape the membranes out. Put all the membranes and whatever extra white pith you cut off into the cloth with the seeds. Tie it up into a little bundle and put into saucepan with the extra cloth tied into the saucepan’s handle.
Now you can either cut the peels into very thin strips or you can put them through a meat mincer like I did. I used the middle sized cutting disk of my Kenwood but as an afterthought I would use the largest one next time. Make sure to get all the bits out that are left over inside the machine and just chop them up by hand to about the same size as the others.
Weigh the minced peels and put into the saucepan. Now weigh double that amount of white sugar (a darker sugar will make your final product darker) and keep aside for later use. Measure the juice in your measuring cup and add enough water to make it three times as much as your minced peels. Pour the liquid into saucepan and start boiling then turn down to a medium boiling point until the minced peels are soft. Mine took about half an hour.
Put the cloth bundle into a sieve over the saucepan and with a big spoon squeeze the liquid out. As it gets cooler you can use your hand to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Discard the bundle with membranes, seeds and pith. By now the liquid in the saucepan will have cooled so you can add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Only once dissolved put the heat back on and get the mixture to a rolling boil. At this point you can add either fresh chopped chilli or a good pinch of dried chilli flakes (which I used).
Boil for about half an hour depending on the amount in your saucepan. You will need to stir to avoid it catching in the bottom. You will see the colour start changing from opaque to translucent and it becomes sticky like jam. You can test by putting a teaspoon of marmalade on a cold saucer and see if it wrinkles when you pull your finger through it. I must admit I cooked mine a bit too long. It’s a very stiff marmalade and I would have preferred it a bit more liquid. I have to mention that mine had hardly any foam while it was boiling. If you see foam on the edges of your saucepan just scoop it out with a slotted spoon.
Pour the warm marmalade into a hot sterilized glass jar and seal immediately with hot sterilized lid.
I know the process seems long the way I’ve described it above but it is actually easy and not as long as cooking jam in my opinion.
For reference my minced peels weighed 125 g and gave me exactly a 500 ml canning jar of marmalade.
Recipe and photo: Elsabie Templeton