Early spring is Meyer Lemon season in northern California. Lots of folks have shrubby, small lemon trees in their yards…and many of those lemons go to waste if folks don’t happen to be jam-or-jelly making enthusiasts or know folks who are.
Our Tai Chi teacher has a friend with a Meyer Lemon tree. This lady picks her lemons and gives them away to any takers. Our teacher always brings a half grocery bag full to class to share with us. Last year I promised to bring her and her friend some Meyer Lemon Marmalade in exchange for the lovely free lemons, but I ended up procrastinating….and they rotted.
Wasn’t going to let THAT happen again! Decided to make this simple SUPER recipe for Meyer Lemon & Honey Jelly
Yield: 4-8oz jars plus 1-4oz jar of finished jelly
C’s COMMENT: Made with whole Meyer Lemons, this jelly has a sweet-tart-slight ‘bitterness’ with a sophisticated depth of flavor, typical of an authentic British lemon marmalade. I like it a lot. This is a super way to enjoy the rich complexity of marmalade without the rinds, if you don’t like them. The honey nuances become more obvious after a month. So delish. LOVE this jelly!
*3 lbs Lemons (Meyers, of course!)
*6 cups filtered Water
*5 cups Organic Cane Sugar
*1/4 cup Organic Lemon Honey (or other delicately flavored honey like Orange or Clover)
*6 drops pure Lemon Essential Oil (1 drop for each cup of juice)
~ WASH lemons.
~ TRIM off ends. Cut into fat slices. REMOVE pits.
Cynthe’s COMMENT: I don’t know why pits need to be removed, since it’s being strained through a jelly bag?
~ COVER with filtered water. Leave to soak overnight or 7-8hrs.
~ BOIL for 2 hours covered.
~ Then STRAIN through a jelly bag.
Cynthe’s COMMENT: Don’t be tempted to squeeze the bag or your jelly won’t be clear!
NOTE: If you want to make Lemon JAM, skip the straining & whir the hot lemons and water carefully with an immersion blender. You definitely wouldn’t want the pits in the mix for jam though! So pick them out.
~ MEASURE juice.
~ ADD 1 cup sugar per cup of juice. STIR to dissolve sugar over low heat.
~ BOIL again until set. (15-30 minutes)
~ FILL sterilized jars as usual.
~ STORE in a dark cool cupboard. Jelly will keep for 1-2 years, but the flavor & color tend to fade beyond that time.
This Meyer Lemon Jelly will be my first ‘Preserved Food’ entry in the 2011 Sonoma County Country Fair as I’ve never been a contestant in our local fair before, so decided to give it a try for the fun of it.