Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mulberry Meyer Marmalade

I love making marmalade because it means I'm making my own organic pectin, and not adding anything from a box.  And while our mulberry tree has not been as prolific this year (maybe because I need to feed it, maybe because of our changing climate), I'm still thinking about coming up with new things to do with mulberries (although they are quite lovely just eaten straight off the tree).  I did bake them up into a mulberry crisp a few weeks ago, and simmered them into a quick compote to serve on waffles or pancakes, and then I thought of this!..

3 1/2 lbs Meyer lemons: ours from my mother-in-law's beautiful yard in the Oakland Hills
4 cups filtered or spring water
4 cups evaporated cane sugar
3 cups mulberries, stems removed

Scrub the lemons clean. I do not use soap (yuck); just rubbing and water.

Cut in half and juice the lemons except for one (you need about 2 1/3 cups of juice), saving all the seeds & membranes in a muslin bag or cheesecloth.  Scrape the white pith (and save in the bag) from the lemons.  Julienne the peels (for 3-4 cups).

Cut the last lemon in 8ths, lengthwise.  Remove seeds and membranes and add them to the bag.  Slice the sections into thin triangles.

Put the juice, peels, Meyer triangles, water & muslin bag (closed tight, let the string hang over the edge but don't let it catch on fire) in a large, heavy bottomed pot.  Bring to a boil and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring so the fruit and bag don't stick to the bottom and burn.

Remove from heat.  Transfer bag to a bowl and allow to cool.  Measure the marmalade mixture and for every cup, add 7/8 cup of sugar.  Squeeze the pectin juices from the bag into the marmalade mix (I save it and squeeze it more after it cools, saving the pectin liquid for later jamming).

Heat the marmalade back up to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Secure a candy thermometer in your mixture, making sure it does not touch the pot.  You want to get the temp up to 220-222 degrees so it will jell.  Then stir in the mulberries.

Fill sterilized jars (that you've been keeping in hot water), scrape down side to remove any air bubbles, clean head space & outer threads with a clean, damp cloth, add lids & rings (that you've been keeping in hot water), not super tight, and boil in a water bath for 10 minutes.

I got about 9 cups.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rose Grapefruit Lemonade

Wow! Just made this one with inspiring ingredients on hand and it was amazing!!!  Perfectly refreshing with this super hot weather...

spring or filtered water
1 cup evaporated cane sugar
a handful of dried roses
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemons from my neighbor
3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, grapefruits from Sage Mountain Farm

In a small pot on high heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the roses and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Strain into a half-gallon container.  Add a few cups of cold water, then add the juices (this way the heat doesn't cook the raw juice; I don't like the taste of cooked juice) and fill the container with cold water.  Delicioso!  And it's a beautiful pink color.

Check out more lemonades here.