Recipe: Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

I mentioned earlier that life has given me more lemons, as my boss’s tree has been in harvest-mode and you know I can’t resist beautiful produce, especially if it’s free for the taking.  After bringing home way too many lemons for my personal use and noticing that strawberry season is upon us here in Bakersfield, I thought it would be fun to try and combine both flavors and make a strawberry lemon marmalade.  This recipe brings together the flavors of the end of winter and start of the spring seasons so beautifully, and the resulting marmalade tastes just like a fresh glass of strawberry lemonade. 

I used my standard lemon marmalade recipe that I posted about here, from the blog Simply Recipes.  I love that it’s a 1:1:1 ratio of lemons, water, and sugar, and it works great every time!  I made some adjustments and added strawberries to this base recipe to achieve the strawberry lemonade perfection.  I would imagine that this would work well with other berries (blackberries, raspberries) instead of strawberries, and I’m hoping to try more variations on this recipe in the future! 

My recipe for Strawberry Lemon Marmalade is below, along with pictures.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

Ingredients:

4 cups lemons, seeded and chopped (about 6 lemons total)

4 cups water

4 cups sugar

2 cups strawberries, chopped

Special Equipment:

Large stainless steel pot

Cheesecloth

Candy Thermometer/Instant Read Thermometer

Mason Jars with Lids

Method:

  1. Scrub and dry all lemons thoroughly, especially if getting them fresh from a tree or farmers market.
  2. Remove the very ends of each side of the lemon, cut lemon in half lengthwise, then cut the lemon lengthwise into wedges.  Remove the seeds and any exposed membranes from the lemons and set these aside.  Cut the de-seeded lemons cross-wise into small triangles.  Add the lemon pieces into the measuring cup, pouring lemon juice collecting on the cutting board into the measuring cup as you go.
    1. I like to use gloves for this part – the acid from the lemons can really eat at the skin of your hands and cause irritation if you don’t!
  3. Add chopped lemons and juice into a large stainless steel pot or Dutch oven (no aluminum or copper – these metals will leech into the marmalade with the acid!).  Add water to the pot.
  4. Take reserved lemon seeds and membranes and place them in the center of the cheesecloth.  Pull corners of the cheesecloth together and tie to make a secure bundle.  Attach the cheesecloth to the side of the pot using some string or a metal clip, ensuring that the seeds and membranes are fully submerged in the water/lemon mixture.
  5. Turn the heat to high and boil the lemons vigorously for 20-30 minutes, or until lemon peels are soft.
  6. While cooking, wash and dice strawberries by slicing into quarters lengthwise, then cross-wise into ¼ slices.  They should be similar in size and shape to the lemon pieces.
  7. After cooking, turn off heat and remove the bundle of cheesecloth from the pot.  Set aside and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
  8. When cooled, squeeze the cheesecloth thoroughly to release any additional pectin from the seeds and membranes.  This will look like a cloudy paste.  Add this back to the pot and stir to combine.
    1. I use gloves for this step again – due to both the heat and acid.
  9. Add sugar and strawberries to the pot, stir to combine.
  10. Turn heat back on the pot to high, and bring mixture back to a full boil.  Stir constantly to ensure that nothing is getting scorched or burned at the bottom of the pan.
  11. Use a candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature of the boiling marmalade.  Cook the marmalade until it reaches a temperature of 218-220F, about 10-20 minutes.
  12. Once the temperature is reached, turn off the heat and immediately pour into clean mason jars.  Add lids and seal as much as possible, keeping in mind that the jars will be very hot.
  13. Allow jars to cool at room temperature for 24 hours. The lids of the jars should begin to pop as they cool, indicating a firm seal.  Any jars that do not pop (remain popped up instead of popped down) should be either refrigerated and served immediately, or discarded.  Fully sealed jars should be shelf stable and fully preserved for up to 6 months.  Fully tighten the jars and store.
  14. Enjoy!

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