Jayne’s nearly-Roses lime marmalade (recipe)

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800g limes (approx, no need to be exact)
1 lemon
1 kilo white sugar
1.2 litres cold water

Equipment: a potato peeler, a very sharp knife, a 30cm square piece of muslin, jam jars and a large saucepan

First of all, place a small plate or saucer into your freezer – you will need this later to test whether the marmalade has set, and it needs to be very cold.

Peel the zest from the limes and the lemon, using a potato peeler (it is easiest to do this from top to bottom, rather than trying to peel around the fruit horizontally). You will get a thin layer of pith attached to the zest, but that’s fine, it will just dissolve.

Using a very sharp knife, shred the zest into very thin strips. If you prefer, you could cut it into larger pieces and put them into a mini food processor – it will taste exactly the same, but the finished marmalade won’t look quite so pretty. Put the shredded zest into your saucepan.

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Again, using a sharp knife, slice the white pith away from the fruit, then collect the pith pieces and any pips in the piece of muslin (you could also use a blue J-cloth – I am currently cutting up an old Ikea muslin curtain that used to hang in our office – any thin cotton fabric works, just make sure whatever you are using is clean).

Cut the flesh of the fruit (including the thin pith that holds the segments together) into small chunks and add to the saucepan, along with any juice and the 1.2 litres of water. Try to pick out any pips, though one or two don’t matter. If your family are litigious and likely to give you a dentist’s bill, just don’t share the marmalade with them.

Tie up the muslin from corner to corner and add the muslin pouch to the pan – it is the white pith that contains a lot of the pectin in the fruit, which is what makes the marmalade set.

IMG_0436.JPGCover the pan with a lid, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down and simmer, covered, for about 1.5 hours.

Remove the muslin pouch from the water and, using a wooden spoon to squash it against the side of the saucepan, squeeze all the liquid from the pouch of pith back into the pan. (You may find it easier to put the pouch into a small sieve and squeeze it in that, holding it over the saucepan). Discard the pith once you’ve squeezed all the liquid out of it – I will leave it up to you whether you rescue the muslin and re-use it (I have a very large curtain to go at and I am supremely lazy, so no prizes for guessing what I do with mine).

Put the saucepan back over a medium heat and add the sugar. Stir continuously until all of the sugar has dissolved completely, making sure to brush down any crystals on the side of the pan. Do not allow the liquid to boil until the sugar has completely dissolved or your marmalade may crystallise. Once the liquid is completely clear, turn up the heat and bring the marmalade to the boil. It may splash, so make sure you use a long spoon for stirring and also ensure that the saucepan has plenty of space, so that the marmalade doesn’t boil all over your stove (been there, it’s not pretty).

IMG_0439.JPGAdjust the heat so that the marmalade stays on a fairly rolling boil but isn’t threatening to come up over the top of the pan. Cook for about ten minutes, then test for a set by putting a teaspoon of the marmalade onto your cold plate and then pushing it with your thumb to see if it wrinkles. If the blob of marmalade wrinkles, it is ready, otherwise cook for another two minutes and test again, repeating if necessary. The marmalade does change colour when it is ready, but the difference can be quite subtle, so the cold plate test is the most reliable.

Once the marmalade is ready, pot into hot, sterilised (see note below) jars and seal tightly. The jars must be hot or they will crack when your pour in the hot marmalade.

Notes:

1. To sterilise your jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse well, then put on a tray in a 100°C oven for a few minutes until hot. Alternatively, wash the jars in a dishwasher and use them as soon as the cycle has finished, while they are still very hot.

2. In the unlikely event that you discover your marmalade hasn’t set when it has cooled, just tip back into the pan, bring to the boil and then repeat the setting process, checking every two minutes. You will need to wash and re-sterilise the jars.

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9 thoughts on “Jayne’s nearly-Roses lime marmalade (recipe)

  1. Just finished my first attempt at Lime Marmalade – can’t believe how effective the natural pectin is! Got two pots. Does this seem right? Thanks, William.

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    1. It sounds as though you might have let the water evaporate a little more than I did. I would generally expect to get three to four 500g (1lb) pots from 1kg fruit made with this method (it’s usually three full pots plus a bit). That might be why your pectin seems to have been so very effective! I’m just perfecting a new (much less time-intensive) recipe, which I will post asap. It gives a greater yield, generally a slightly softer set and nowhere near as much fiddly chopping and zesting. Rainy windy day today, so might even manage it this afternoon. Hope you like the taste, even if it is a bit on the firm side!

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  2. I Love Roses Lime Marmalade…We Have A Bunch Of Limes So I’m Excited To Try This…It’s Quite Labour Intensive But No Doubt Worth It! My Hubby Is Not A Marmalade Fan But I’ve Told Him That He Would Love Roses Lime Marmalade If We Could Get It…Seeing As We Can’t Get It, I’m Gonna Make Him Some. Thanks For Sharing This Recipe!!

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    1. I’m generally with your hubby – I don’t like oranges, so I always hated normal marmalade, but my mother used to buy me Rose’s (I like the lemon and lime too). My recipe is quite a bit sharper than Rose’s, but if you wanted something nearer in flavour, just add a bit more sugar. The limes have loads of pectin, so it will still set perfectly well. Hope it turns out well. I have now made the new Seville orange/lime mix, which is a much easier recipe (not so much faffing) and I have also made a couple of jars of it with just limes, which has worked out really well too, so I will share that in the next day or two.

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  3. Hi Jayne, interesting recipe thank you. I made a load of nearly Rose’s Lime Marmalade using my trusted nearly Golden Shred recipe which produces a beautiful very clear golden result. (Sorry you don’t like oranges!).
    I was in a SuperU market in France last week and shocked to find Rose’s Lime marmalade and Frank Cooper’s Vintage Oxford marmalade on the shelf. It was positively a Wow! Moment. Born in Derby in ‘52 it brought back memories of wonderful breakfasts with my Grandmother.
    Then I tasted the Lime marmalade and it is a pale shadow of what I remember. Thus, I was moved to look for a replica recipe and found yours which, with some slight differences, is very similar to my own. I make syrup with sugar and some water before adding it to the lime juice, pulp etc
    I squeeze my muslin into separate pot and boil it to make sure it is clear before adding it to the main pot, and boil hard until it reaches 105c.
    I make tons of jams, marmalades, syrups, cordials, chutneys out of all sorts of things. The hedges and woods are full of great stuff to cook with. I call it God’s supermarket! I also make my own pectin from crab apples, but lime as you know, like Elderberry has a huge amount of its own natural pectin.
    Today Rose’s put all sorts of crap in their marmalade, presumably to increase shelf life, all of which is totally unnecessary and could not possibly have been in the original 1930’s recipe.
    Your recipe, like my own is just lime juice, pulp, pips, finely cut peel, sugar and water. I can leave it in the cellar for years and my chums are always delighted when I give them a pot. No need for additives, colourings, E this and E that nonsense!
    I will write to the company and ask them why they don’t just work with the original recipe.
    Nice to find a fellow foodie who is old school and does things proper!
    Thanks again!

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    1. I’m pleased the marmalade turned out well. I completely agree about the Rose’s stuff – when I tried a jar it was so disappointingly sweet. Maybe it was always like that and we have just lost our sweet tooth as we’ve got older. And, like you, though I was born a decade later, I remember my granny always making huge vats of marmalade for my grandfather, who was from Aberdeen and liked the really bitter stuff.

      Living in a town where oranges are one of the main crops is an ongoing trial for me – even the shade trees in our main shopping streets are Seville orange. When I first lived in Turkey, I lived in a place called Turunc, which is the Turkish word for bitter oranges – you couldn’t make it up!

      I’ve also been using a Marguerite Patten recipe, which is really quick and easy if you haven’t the time (or inclination) to do a lot of shredding. You end up with a chunkier marmalade, but I quite like that. It works with any citrus fruit, though I always try to include a lemon to be on the safe side. My favourite is pink grapefruit, lemon and lime, but obviously ‘normal’ people can use oranges too. Here’s the method: https://aviewfrommykitchen.com/2017/11/19/easy-seville-orange-lime-marmalade/

      We have been in Cornwall for the last two months, but we’re back in Turkey in September, so we are going off to the west coast in search of Bodrum Bergamots – they make the most amazing marmalade when mixed with other fruits. We have planted a Bodrum Bergamot in our garden (named Pip by our friends, who had to share the back seat of the car with him on a one-week road trip – we bought him on Day One), but it teases us by having flowers every year, which then fall off before they fruit – this is probably due mainly to our spring hail storms, but I am starting to wonder if we need a second tree, though the nice man who grows them assured me that they would be pollinated as long as they were near other citrus. If you can ever get your hands on a bergamot, give it a go in some marmalade – you only need one with maybe two or three lemons or limes (or oranges), as the flavour is quite strong.

      Anyway, happy stirring. I am shaping up to a blog post, as we are off to pick blackberries this morning and hopefully photograph a family of buzzards we have been watching since March. The little ones were about to fledge when we left for Warwickshire three weeks ago, so we are hoping they are out having flying lessons. Thanks for you comments – if you want to follow the blog, there is a ‘follow’ tab at the very bottom right hand of the page.

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      1. Hi there,
        That was fast!
        I’ll give the bergamots a go for sure.
        Spring and early summer is a really busy time isn’t it.
        First it’s the Seville Orange marmalade in late Feb, then tapping Birch sap, then looking for Morel and St George’s mushrooms, and then Wild Garlic (which drives me insane cos I just can’t find it in Brittany!).
        I’ve been making Elderberry Sparkling wine and cordial which is wonderful. Drinking some of last year’s bottles now and a year mellows it and makes a huge difference to the taste, if you can uncork it without blowing your head off.
        The heavy rain storms played played havoc with my cherries this year, lost the bloomin’ lot which was really a bore!
        Luckily I have farmer chums who produce wonderful cherries for soaking in alcohol, making Clafoutis, jam, jelly, ice cream.
        A wet June can even bring early Ceps de Bordeaux.
        Last year was insane for Ceps. We foraged about 12kg which was a record.
        Now it’s Peach, Strawberry, Raspberry, Greengage, Mirabelle plums, Reine Claude jams, jellies, pies, cakes, gelatoes, sorbets etc etc and that’s before you pull your waders on to go hunting for Moules, Oysters, Razor clams, crabs, lobsters. and fishing for trout, salmon, sea bass, plaice, and on and on.
        Next week I’m invited to shoot wild boar, pigeon, rabbit, hare in Normandy. You might be a vegetarian, I don’t know but when in the forest foraging for shrooms and a deer ambles past my mouth starts watering and I reach for my rifle and saucepan. We all have a hunter gatherer in our genes. September will be duck, grouse, pheasant, Roebuck and Deer. Then Hazel nuts and then more Ceps and Girolle mushrooms.
        So there’s no time to sit around. It never stops and I learn more and more as time goes by.
        For me it’s all about God’s larder and finding wonderful things to cook for the family and friends. It really doesn’t get any better than that does it!
        Somehow I have to find time for my other projects which revolve around renewable energy and trying to revive technology and medical treatments which have been hidden by the bad guys.
        Good to make your acquaintance.
        I’ll stay in touch.
        Enjoy the rest of the summer!

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  4. Ha ha, no I am not a vegetarian, though we don’t eat meat that often and we eat a lot of egg and dairy-free stuff because our grandchildren have severe allergies, so I am always trying to come up with new ideas to feed them. Tonight is pork shoulder steaks in blackberry & cassis sauce, using the blackberries we picked while out walking this morning. Could do with a bit of your cherry soaking liquor, but I will have to make do with a drop of cassis from our local garden centre. In fact, your entire stash sounds most appealing – just send us the address and we’ll be up to the Plymouth ferry. I lived on the west coast of France for three years (near La Tremblade/Royan) and my friend’s parents were oyster farmers – they used to present us with boxes of clams, mussels and langoustine that were ‘not needed’ – we were only in our early 20s and had no idea how lucky we were – we used to keep them for staff meals though, we never shared them with the customers! I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to mushrooms – I must be the only cook on earth who doesn’t like truffles, morels or ceps. We also get girolles in the early autum in Turkey – they are always discoloured, which apparently is just the particular variety, but very off-putting all the same, though I admit they do taste delicious. Enjoy what is left of the summer – I think ours might be nearly over, though it’s been a cracker. I just got drenched in the car park at Asda, which was a perfect example of super-poor timing, as it only lasted the three minutes between supermarket exit and car. Pah.

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