This lemon marmalade is a perfect spread or filling for any number of pastries you might indulge in. Serve it with freshly baked croissants, ensaïmadas or just simply with butter on toast.
- 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) lemons
- 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- pinch of sea salt flakes
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 thyme sprigs
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes enough to fill 1 x 600 ml jar.
- Clean the lemons, then place in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45–60 minutes, until the lemons are soft when pierced with a knife. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Slice the ends off the lemons and discard. Quarter the lemons and scoop out the flesh and seeds into a fine sieve set over a saucepan to act as a drip bowl underneath. Squash the flesh through the strainer into the saucepan, then place the remaining pulp and pips in a square of muslin (cheesecloth) and tie with kitchen string. Place in the saucepan with the lemon juice and flesh.
- Remove any remaining white pith from the rind and cut the rind into even-sized strips as thick or as thin as you would like. Add the rind to the saucepan, along with the remaining ingredients and 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) of water. Bring to a rolling boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20–30 minutes. The longer you cook the mixture, the stringier and darker the marmalade will be.
- Remove and discard the cinnamon, then spoon the jam into a sterilised 600 ml (20½ fl oz) glass jar (see Note) while hot, then tightly seal and turn upside-down to cool. Once cool, put the jar through the dishwasher to clean and reinforce the heat seal. The marmalade will keep in a cool, dry spot for 4–6 months.
• To sterilise glass jars, wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and remove any labels or residual food. Preheat an oven to 110 C fan-forced, place the jars and lids upside down on clean wire racks and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until dry. Transfer to a clean tea towel, right side up.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99