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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lime & Vanilla Jam

 These are beautiful Bearss limes. From the outside, they look like lemons, but from the inside, they are very clearly limes. I am very fortunate to have a coworker with a mini orchard in her yard. She's brought boxes of these limes and tangerines in to work all last week.

The one time I tried to make lime marmalade it was awful. One of the only true failures I've had with my canning adventures. It was incredibly dark and bitter. Madelyn says it makes fine marmalade cookies, but I haven't been inspired to try that. I still have a jar or two around. They will likely be sacrificed for their jars in the near future.

Because of this bitterness, (the limes were bitter, not me) I thought I would experiment and try making a jam using only the juice and supremed segments. They were so pretty and fragrant! Because, according to Wiki, these are Persian or Tahiti limes, I decided to augment the flavor with a Tahitian vanilla bean.

I didn't expect this orange color, but I think it is beautiful. This jam is very, VERY, tart. I'm not sure it would be the best thing for toast, unless you like ultra sour. I have already used it in a citrus salad dressing. I think it would be a fabulous filling for pound cake or topping for a cheese cake. It's making my mouth water just thinking about it!

Lime & Vanilla Jam
15 limes
2/3 cup of apple pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean

Prepare the jars, lids and boiling water bath and place some spoons on a saucer in the freezer.

With a very sharp knife, cut the skin and membrane from the outside of the limes. Carefully cut the segments away from the remaining membranes. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl with the segments to get the most juice possible. Measure the juice and segments and add water to bring the measurement up to four cups.

Place limes, apple pectin and sugar in a large pot. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the pod to the fruit in the pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer until it reaches about 222 degrees. Test on a spoon from the freezer by scooping out a bit of the jam. Allow it to cool and push it with a finger. If it wrinkles and mounds, you are there!

Carefully ladle into hot, prepared jars. Wipe the rims and top with lids. Process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and allow to set overnight before labeling.

Makes 3 1/2 pints

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