Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Pomegranate

Meyer Lemon PAMAlade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Pomegranate

One of the most popular recipes I’ve posted on this blog is a tasty, simple Pomegranate Champagne Jelly. In the comments to that post, a couple of folks asked whether it would be okay to include the pomegranate arils — that is, the seeds in their beautiful red, fleshy wrappings. I didn’t think it would lead to happy results. That particular jelly needs to go into the jars piping hot, and the arils would float to the top. If you waited for the jelly to cool enough that the arils wouldn’t float, the texture of the jelly would be wrecked. I concluded this from my experiences trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to float intriguing things in jelly — like slivered almonds or flowers.

Still, those tiny red jewels kept rattling around in my head. When I spied some lovely arils at Whole Foods the other day, knowing I had a bag of freshly picked Meyer lemons in my car — well, you can see what happened. I decided to try the arils in a chunky Meyer Lemon Marmalade, and it worked out great. To add a splash of complexity, I included some booze from my stash of liquor minis for jamming: a pomegranate liqueur called PAMA.

And that’s how the marm got its name.

Pomegranate Arils or Pomegranate Seeds

If you like to eat pomegranate arils (they’re good for you — full of fiber and antioxidants) you might want to experiment with something like this. As marmalades go, this one isn’t very labor intensive. It’s a one-day process instead of the usual two or three. Meyer Lemon Marmalade can be prepared more quickly than most marmalades made with other types of citrus, because the lemons are so soft.

Slicing Meyer Lemons for Marmalade

Meyer Lemon PAMAlade

2 pounds Meyer lemons
5 1/2 cups water
5  cups sugar
2 ounces (50 ml bottle) PAMA (pomegranate liqueur)
1 cup pomegranate arils

1. Slice your lemons according to the directions in How to Slice Citrus Fruit for Marmalade. Strain the leftover lemon juice (the post about slicing fruit explains this) and set it aside.

2. Put the lemons, strained lemon juice, and water into a large, nonreactive saucepot. Bring the water to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer the lemons for 5 minutes only.

3. Transfer the lemons and water to a large glass or ceramic bowl and set them aside to soak, covered, for 4-6 hours. (It’s fine to leave them at room temperature.) Don’t leave them to soak any longer than 6 hours. You don’t want them to fall apart. I usually prepare the lemons early in the day and then come back to cook them in the late afternoon or evening.

4. After the lemons have soaked, sterilize your jars and put 5 metal teaspoons on a plate in the freezer to test the marmalade for doneness later.

5. Place the lemons and their liquid in a large, nonreactive jam pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the lemons are tender. If a slice of lemon easily comes apart when you press it against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon, the lemons are ready.

6. Add the sugar to the pot and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat and leave it on high heat to cook. Stir very little during this initial cooking phase, so the mixture doesn’t cool too much.

7. Add the PAMA and pomegranate arils toward the end of the cooking process. I added them after the mixture had been cooking for about 30 minutes, expecting that my marmalade would set somewhere between 35-40 minutes. As it turned out, the addition of the cooler liquid and the arils extended the cooking time quite a bit. It took closer to 45 minutes for the marmalade to cook. Next time I do this, I will add the liqueur and arils later, at about 35 minutes.

8. Start to test the marmalade for doneness when you notice that the mixture has thickened and the bubbles have become smaller, shinier, and more concentrated. You will also notice an increase in foaming when you stir the marmalade during this final stage.

Testing the marmalade for doneness. Remove the mixture from the heat. Use one of the frozen spoons to scoop up a little bit of marmalade — not a whole spoonful, more like half. Return the spoon to the freezer and wait 3 minutes. Retrieve the spoon and hold it vertically. If the marmalade doesn’t run and has reached a semi-solid consistency, it’s done. Alternatively, give the mixture a push with your finger. If it wrinkles all the way through, it’s done. If the marmalade isn’t done, return it to the heat, cook it for 2-3 more minutes, and test again.

9. When the marmalade is finished, remove it from the heat and skim the foam. Allow the mixture to cool for about ten minutes, giving it a gentle stir every couple of minutes or so to distribute the arils. Then ladle or pour the marmalade into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth if necessary, and secure the lids.

10. Process in a water-bath canner, using the correct time for your altitude: 5 minutes for 0-1,000 feet above sea level, plus 1 minute for every additional 1,000 feet.

Yields about 6 half-pint jars.

Meyer Lemon Marmalade with Pomegranate

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  • Reply Dee January 30, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Oh no, you’ve done it again! This sounds wonderful — I adore the addition of the PAMA, and the finished product is beautiful. The jam itself is such a delicate colour, and the arils look like precious jewels. This is a lovely thing ^_^

    • Reply Shae February 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks, Dee. We will get you liking marmalades yet! I’d happily send you a jar of this one but, jeez, wouldn’t it cost about a million dollars to ship a jar of jam to Ireland???

  • Reply The Turnbulls February 1, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Love marmalade and the addition of the pomegranate arils is brilliant! In less than a month, we’ll be in Florida whipping up some of our classic marmalades and some experiments too! Great idea…and, beautiful photos.

    • Reply Shae February 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks, Andrea. Can’t wait to hear what you two get up to in Florida. It’s great to be in a citrus state in wintertime!

  • Reply Karen @ My Pantry Shelf February 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    This concoction looks delicious and I love the name!

    • Reply Shae February 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Thank you for visiting, Karen! I thought the name might be a little goofy, so I’m glad to hear that you like it.

  • Reply Brooke - in Oregon February 18, 2011 at 7:22 am

    I made this and it is AWESOME!! I have to make another batch before the Meyers are gone. I have some frozen arils from my SIL’s tree so I am good to go there. My FIL has already requested another jar and I only gave it to them last week. lol Thanks once again :)

    PS I barely have enough PAMA left for batch #2, that stuff is GOOD!!

    • Reply Shae February 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

      Yeah, Brooke, that PAMA’s not bad, is it? I am absolutely thrilled that you made this and like it so much — not to mention that you have people pestering you for more! Thank you so much for letting me know.

  • Reply Use It or Lose It! Meyer Lemon Pork Rolls « local kitchen May 10, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    […] going to be picking my own Meyers any time soon, Shae sent me the next best thing: some of her own Meyer marm. And coming, as it did, from the Queen of Meyer marmalade, you just knew that this preserve was […]

  • Reply Anne January 1, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Dear Shae: By a nonreactive pan do you mean glass or just a regular stock pot? Thank you! Anne

  • Reply Shae January 1, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Anne: By nonreactive, I essentially mean the pot should not be uncoated aluminum, uncoated cast iron, or unlined copper — nothing that would react badly with the acidity of the fruit.

  • Reply Amanda April 3, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    If I wanted to make a plain meyer marmalade, could I use this recipe and just omit the pom seeds and liqueur? Or should I sub another kind of booze?

    • Reply Shae April 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      Yes, that’s the trick. It makes a lovely little batch of plain Meyer marmalade if you leave out the pom stuff. And of course you could sub another kind of booze, but you don’t have to. Enjoy!

  • Reply Amanda April 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Awesome thanks! Sorry, I’m always asking you about substitutions :)

  • Reply Amanda April 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I just finished making this and I burned it at the end! This is the second time now that I have burnt marmalade trying to get it to set. So upsetting. Though my husband says it tastes “caramelized” and really likes it. I just really wanted some clear yellow light marmalade. Bummer.

    • Reply Shae April 8, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Amanda, I’m sorry to hear it. Marmalade can be so mysterious. The final moments always seem the most critical to me, and so many things can affect the setting process, from the amount of pectin in the fruit to (I swear) the weather. When I first started making marmalade, I tested very frequently toward the end of the process to avoid burning, but it sounds like you may have been doing that and it overcooked anyway. :-(

      For a pectin boost, you might try including a “pith bag” — putting the seeds and pith into a large tea ball or cheesecloth bundle — during the initial simmer and soak.

      I’m glad your husband still wants to eat it!

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