Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lime-ginger Marmalade

On Friday, I attempted to make key lime-ginger marmalade. It wasn't exactly spur-of-the-moment, since I bought the limes a few weeks ago, and have been searching numerous blogs, websites and canning books looking for the perfect lime recipe. I've never even had marmalade, but I was obsessed with the idea of making it.

(I saw an article or blog somewhere where someone made orange-lemon marmalade and then added hot water to a spoonful for tea. Love that idea.)

I finally decided to combine these two recipes to create my own:

  • Key Lime Marmalade @Dog Island Farm - I love this one because it is just a general recipe: throw these ingredients together, you can use this many lemons, or this many oranges, ect.
  • Lime and Ginger Marmalade @ABC North Queensland - I like this one for the addition of ginger.
On Thursday, I spent an hour chopping up a pound of key limes. I had little scrapes on my hands and didn't think to use gloves, so my hands were on fire. I started out doing slices and then chopping the slices, but I ended up just cubing everything. I left in the pith, the membranes, everything. I ended up with about 3 cups, and left it to sit for several hours. Then I grated about 2 inches of fresh ginger into the mixture and let it sit for 14 hours. (The time frame was an accident. I was just working up the courage to actually do it.)

I got all my stuff together on Friday afternoon, and started cooking the lime mixture with a little less than 3 cups of sugar. I stirred it periodically and tasted the drops from the spoon. Deciding that it was far too bitter, I added another 1/2 cup of sugar.

It then cooked for well over an hour before reaching the required almost 230 degrees. I had all the fans going in the kitchen because it was so much liquid to cook down.

When it finally reached temperature, I started ladling into the jars. As I reached for the 3rd jar (half-pint), I realized something smelled like it was burning. I looked into the pot and my lovely green was turning orange. I went ahead and jarred up as much as I could and put it in a water bath. (In part just to make sure the water covered all of my jars.)

All four of the jars sealed. Two of the jars look like the mixture is completely "caramelized" (which, let's face it, is just a nice way of saying I burned it). The second jar I filled looked like it's as hard as a rock. Only the very first jar I filled appears to have any kind of give to it. I'm a little scared to open it even. Every little taste I took when it was cooking was beyond bitter, and the lime peel was too chewy to swallow.

I have decided that it was a great, grand - and failed - experiment. I never have to make marmalade again. I know now that I don't like it and it is NOT worth the trouble to me.

Next up, lemon-ginger curd (and maybe lime-ginger curd) with the eggs I received at the club meeting Thursday night from the hostess. (13 eggs - all picked up that day from her chickens.)

Have you had any great, grand, failed experiments? Or successful ones. Revel in your glory and my defeat. ;-)

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