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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pineapple and Meyer Lemon Marmalade

I love pineapple. I've been known to say, "I'll throw pineapple into just about anything." Have you ever seen a cat on cat nip? That's me on pineapple. I'm not even that picky. Canned pineapple still works its way into my dishes. For years, I've used canned crushed pineapple in my plum and pineapple jam. For this marmalade, I chopped a whole fresh pineapple. I'm really happy with the results and it wasn't that much more work.

I'm getting pretty good at weeknight jamming. If you plan, you can do it too! For marmalade, generally, you can process the fruit one night and make the marmalade the next.

Chopped pineapple sitting on top of the lemon pulp and fruit. The simmered zest and liquid on the right. (And yes, those are extra jars of Lovely Lotion in the background.)

Marmalade that is not made with commercial pectin remains like a thick syrup. I'm good with this. The boiling may take up to 45 minutes. That's why I like to prep one evening and boil the next. Easy Peasy.

Pineapple and Meyer Lemon Marmalade
1 large, fresh, pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped (reserve the cores)
1 cup thinly sliced Meyer lemon zest
8 large Meyer Lemons
4 cups water
6 cups sugar

Prepare jars and lids and boiling water bath. Place a few saucers and teaspoons in the freezer. (If doing this recipe in two steps, save the canning prep for the second night.)

Wash and peel a thin layer zest off of the lemons. Reserve 1 cup of the zest and place in a sauce pan. Add 4 cups cold water. Add the pineapple cores. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Use a sharp knife to cut the remaining peel away from the lemons. Carefully cut the lemon pulp segments away from the membranes. Hold the lemons over the bowl to catch all the juice. 

(The lemon segments, peel with liquid and pineapple can be stored over night for canning the next day.)

Measure the pineapple pieces, lemon segments and simmered peel in an 8 cup (2 quart) measuring cup. Add the zest simmering liquid to bring the measure up to 8 cups. Place all of this in a very large stock pot. Add 6 cups sugar. Bring to a boil and boil until it reaches somewhere between 220 and 226 degrees. Stir frequently. When it comes up to 220 degrees, begin testing with your frozen spoons - scoop a small amount of the marmalade into a frozen spoon and place back into the freezer on a saucer. When it is cool, push it with your finger. If the surface of the marmalade wrinkles, it is done. I should feel like honey on your mouth when you taste it. 

Remove from the heat and skim any remaining foam. Allow to cool for a minute or two and stir to distribute the bits. Carefully ladle into hot jars. Wipe the rims and top with lids and rings. Process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully remove to a towel lined tray and allow to sit overnight. 

Makes 7 half-pint jars.

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