Emboldened by my previous experiment with microwave cumquat marmalade (see last post), I decided to take it one step further and make lemon marmalade using the food processor and microwave oven. Definitely look away now if you are a marmalade purist! OK, I confess to being one too, but this was rather fun. Definitely not something you should do for Show marmalade though, as the result wasn’t exactly clear and glistening. But for transforming fruit to marmalade in under an hour, it was pretty good, and the taste certainly was good too.
I used Lemonade fruit, which is a cross between a lemon and a navel orange. Perhaps because it is a hybrid, my Lemonade tree is more susceptible to pests than the other fruit trees, and we haven’t had ideal growing conditions for years, so the tree is stressed, and therefore the fruit isn’t in great shape. However it was fine for this purpose, and I used three for this recipe.
500g lemonades or lemons (I used three)
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups sugar
Top and tail the fruit, and cut in half vertically. Remove seeds, and soak in a little water (from the allowance). Using the slicing attachment on the food processor, finely slice the fruit. You can of course do this by hand, but in the food processor it takes seconds and the result is excellent. I do however pick through it and take out the ends which slice too thickly.
Put the fruit together with the water in a microwave dish (mine was around 3 litres), and cook for 10 minutes until the rind is tender.
Add the sugar, and strained liquid that the seeds were soaking in. Cook until jelled, somewhere between 20-30 minutes; mine was closer to 30. Bottle immediately and lid straight away.
Warning: For any preserves purists, look away now!
It’s late winter, and we are full on into the citrus season, with lemons falling on the ground, and the Seville oranges ready in a few weeks. Over the past few years we have been cycling through drought and then too much rain which is playing havoc with my fruit trees, but this year there were just enough cumquats to make marmalade, although the quality wasn’t great. I was toying with using them for marmalade, knowing that it wouldn’t work out well due to too much rain (always a killer for jams and marmalades setting), and spotty fruit. Right on cue, my sister rang, excited having tried her first ever batch of jam, which happened to be cumquat, and made in the microwave. Intrigued, I thought it might be worth the experiment, as a small amount of fruit wasn’t going to work out well, together with everything else. Happily, I got a great result, and here is the recipe, adapted from the original Australian Womens Weekly Microwave Cookbook, circa 1986.
The beauty of using the microwave is that no overnight soaking or pre-cooking is required, making the process much quicker and cleaner. Not recommended for show cooking, but if you have a small batch and want to get a quick result, this might just be worth trying!
500g Cumquats, de-seeded and cut into quarters
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups sugar
Add the water to the cumquats in a microwave proof dish (mine was about 3 litres), and microwave on high for 10 minutes until the cumquats are cooked and the rind tender. Add the sugar and stir well, so that the sugar dissolves before you boil the mix. Microwave on high until the mixture jells, and the marmalade “sheets” off the spoon (see other posts on cooking jams and marmalades to see what this means). This took around 25-30 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then bottle and seal immediately.