Tuesday 9 June 2009

Housekeeping and a recipe for marmalade


The good weather went. It's been raining fairly consistently for 3 days or so now and is forecast for another couple of days drizzle, showers and storms before clearing up a bit for the weekend.

So yesterday not a lot got done. I was too miserable even to attempt any of the many indoor tasks on my list and spent most of the day slumped in front of the computer playing Bejewelled on facebook. Not at all productive, so best forgotten.

Today, I tackled a task I've been avoiding for 15 months and went to the dump. It was almost too late. One more bag full and I wouldn't have been able to get into the car with the rubbish. The man looked at me rather hard, but really the stuff I was throwing away was genuine rubbish unlike the man next to me who seemed to be disposing of a lot of unbroken plastic gardening pots (I nearly asked him for them) or the man in a van who was throwing away whole unopened reels of some sort of tape. It was just there was an awful lot of it after a year's collection.

Then I went to the shops as a reward, but there was little enough there to inspire me. Stocked up on dull stuff like bog roll and washing up liquid but did treat myself to some apricots.

This afternoon I bottled the elderflower syrup. It tastes rather good.

I used small plastic pressure bottles that had held tonic because I wanted to freeze them and have usable quantities that wouldn't go off before they were finished. In the recipe I used from Anne's Food she says her father makes marmalade with the elderflower infused lemons. It's a lovely idea but she doesn't include the recipe. This is what I did:

Pick the lemon slices out from the flowers and weigh them. You'll have about 500g if your lemons are the same size as mine. Anne says her dad chops them with a hand blender but you'll need a mighty powerful one. If you like a minced marmalade put the slices through a mincer or food processor or chop by hand. If you're lazy, do nothing and have chunky marmalade.

Put the lemons, chopped or sliced into a big saucepan, I used the pan I'd infused the syrup in to save washing up, and squeeze the flowers over them to get the last drops of elderflower syrup out.

Add 300ml of water and bring to a simmer for a few minutes. Add 500g of white sugar (for the best colour). I was using up ends of bags and found some sugar with pectin added so I used that along with some ordinary granulated but all granulated is fine.

Stir to dissolve completely and then bring to a good boil. Keep the pan boiling fast until you get a set. The usual test is to put a little on a cold plate and see if it forms wrinkles when you push it gently with your finger. Because I had the pectin sugar this only took five minutes but if you don't have that it will be about 10 minutes.

Pot into clean hot jars and cover immediately. Makes about 3 x 400g jars full.

lemon elderflower marmalade


Paul said...

There's another thing I can't wait to try; and much nicer I'll bet even than anything Bonne Maman could have put in the jar.

Catofstripes said...

You'll love it. But, it probably doesn't go with coffee.