Meyer Lemon-Strawberry Marmalade

Meyer Lemon-Strawberry Marmalade RecipeOne of many nice things about spring around here is that Meyer lemons and strawberries share part of the season. We can still pick Meyers when the first local berries are arriving in the markets. If you want to make a preserve that’s solidly spring, Meyer Lemon-Strawberry Marmalade definitely qualifies.

This is one of the best marmalades I’ve made in the past year, for sure. I’ve been working on some new recipes to enter in the Marin County Fair. (Entry forms are due next week for our fair in July. I can’t believe how fast it snuck up. I’m in denial.) This year the fair has a special category for strawberries only — preserves, jams, jellies, conserves, and marmalade. The rules are clear that the strawberry marmalade can include citrus fruit but, unfortunately, I think the lemon in this recipe is too dominant for success in a category that puts strawberries first.

No matter. While I’m trying to invent another strawberry marmalade to enter in the fair, I’m happy to be eating this one. We’re already down to our last jar.

Meyer Lemon Strawberry Marmalade Recipe

Meyer Lemon-Strawberry Marmalade

1 1/2 pounds Meyer lemons
5 cups water
1 pound strawberries, pureed
1 pound strawberries, roughly chopped
6 cups sugar

1. Slice the lemons as described in How to Slice Citrus Fruit for Marmalade. Strain the leftover lemon juice (the post about slicing fruit explains this) and set it aside. Also, retain the pithy centers and use them to make a “pith bag.” That is, dunk a piece of cheesecloth or other clean linen (I’ve torn up a couple of old, clean T-shirts for this purpose) in boiling water and then use it to bind up the pith, tying it off so it makes a little bag.

2. Put the lemons, strained lemon juice, pith bag, 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 contents of the pot (including the pith bag) to a glass or ceramic bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 4-6 hours. (That’s the ideal soaking time. If you have to leave the lemons overnight, put them in the fridge. Don’t let them soak longer than that, because Meyers are soft to begin with and they may get mushy. My favorite way to make a Meyer marmalade is to prepare the lemons in the morning and finish the job later in the day.)

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 into a large, nonreactive jam pan. Give the pith bag a squeeze and discard it. Then, bring the liquid to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Simmer until the lemons are tender, about 5-10 minutes. (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. While the lemons are simmering, puree and chop the strawberries, setting the chopped berries aside in a separate bowl. When the lemons are ready, stir in the strawberry puree and the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook at high temperature for 15 minutes. (I found that I had to stir this marmalade more frequently than most, because strawberries are much more likely than citrus to stick and/or burn. Keep an eye on the pot and stir as often as needed to prevent this. During this phase, I did some skimming, too — using a large, shallow stainless steel spoon to scoop away some of the obvious white foam. Go for the white, sticky looking stuff, not the lighter, pink froth. This mixture will foam up big time, because there’s quite a bit of sugar in it. It should settle down at the next step.)

7. After 15 minutes of cooking time, add the chopped strawberries to the pot and continue to cook the mixture until it reaches the gelling point, stirring and skimming as needed. You may also need to turn down the heat a bit. 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. In my 11-quart pot, the total cooking time was 30 minutes.

Testing the marmalade for doneness. Remove the mixture from the heat. If it’s still boiling up like crazy, give it a little stir to cool it a bit, so the strawberries don’t stick. 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.

8. When the marmalade is finished, remove it from the heat and skim any remaining foam. Allow the mixture to cool for about 5 minutes, giving it a gentle stir once or twice to distribute the lemon slices. 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 and secure the lids.

9. 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 7 half-pint jars.

Meyer Lemon Strawberry Marmalade Recipe

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21 comments to Meyer Lemon-Strawberry Marmalade

  • Susan

    Looks yummy! Strawberries in my area are not ready till middle June. Wonder if I will find Meyers then.

    • Shae

      Hi Susan: If you can’t find Meyers in the summer, Rosemary (just below) had an excellent idea. Freeze some strawberries and make it when lemons come in!

  • oh, yummy !! Meyer lemoms and strawberries may be possible to find at the same time, but if not, strawberries could be frozen until lemon season.

    • Shae

      Rosemary, you’re so smart! I never think to freeze strawberries, and I should. I’m so greedy that I eat them all up in the summer. :-)

  • Yum! Looks great. I might have to crack open a jar of meyer marm when strawberries come in here just for this.

    • Shae

      Hey Kate: How would you do that? As a stir-in to the marm you made? The flavors are great together, gotta say!

  • That looks SO beautiful! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the fair!!

    • Shae

      Thanks, Jules! I can’t wait to see what I come up with, too! My next attempt (with a different citrus fruit) was syrup. But good syrup.

  • Brooke - in Oregon

    Looks amazing and I am going to have to try this one. Your Pamalade is still our all time FAVORITE!! Did I tell you I ended up making 4 batches and we are running out. I LOVE to share things when I find something so fabulous :)

    • Shae

      Brooke, I love this. I love that you have now made the PAMAlade more times than I have. If I have any trouble with it in the future, I’m turning to you for advice!

  • I want this, right now! This may be a lame question but is there anyway to print your recipe without printing the whole blog page? Thanks!

    • Shae

      Ugh, Pat, I wish there were an easy way to do it, but I haven’t gotten that far with blog technology yet. What I do when I visit a blog and want a recipe without printing a zillion pages is copy the recipe text and paste it into a Microsoft Word document. Then I save the recipe to a folder on my computer and can print a copy whenever I need one.

  • your last sentence killed me. i was so ready to offer up 5 of my jars for one of these!

  • Shae

    Tigress, I’ll make more!

  • Shae, I made Strawberry Meyer Lemon Marmalade yesterday. At our local farmers market the community garden people had a big bowl of meyer lemons they were giving away and there was an organic strawberry booth nearby. Turned out beautifully. Now I don’t have to freeze strawberries to have this delicious marmalade.

  • Hi there! I love your blog-such inspiration! I looked all over today and couldn’t find Meyer lemons… What would you think about subbing key limes? I’d really love to hear your opinion!

    Take care,and thanks for a wonderful site!

    • Shae

      Hiya Kate: What a pretty blog you have! I couldn’t say for sure on the key limes; my best guess is that they’d be a little tough — literally, I mean. Toothsome. Chewy. The prep and soaking times here are for big soft Meyers and rind of those little key limes is comparatively dense. I wouldn’t want to put you off trying it, but you might want to simmer at least twice as long and soak overnight. (This is no guarantee, cuz I’ve never tried it with this recipe.) Another suggestion is to sub a different type of lemon; they won’t be as soft as Meyers, but not as tough as the key limes either. Good luck!

  • Would it work to use less sugar? Maybe 3 or 4 cups?

  • Shae

    Hi Katie: Sugar is a key element in getting a good set when making a traditional marmalade. If you don’t add enough, your fruit will overcook before it sets. I never like to discourage experiments, but I couldn’t recommend cutting the sugar in this recipe unless you’d be fine with a very soft batch.

  • [...] quite trust me to take home all those lemons and not use ten pounds of sugar to make marmalade out of them. (Those links go to five different Meyer lemon marmalade recipes on this blog.) I need to [...]