Spring is here with bright, clear mornings and sun-drenched afternoons. It is bliss to wake up in the morning without shivering, to see sunlight dancing on the gum trees outside the window, to see sparrows, finches, grass parrots, kookaburras, miner birds, magpies, princess parrots, and innumerable other birds flitting about building nests and eating nectar out of the flowers.
Our breakfasts reflect the change in seasons. Gone are hearty bowls of oatmeal and frittatas stuffed with ham, cheese, and veggies. Now it’s asparagus picked from the garden and roasted with Parmesan cheese, a couple of soft boiled eggs gathered from our chooks.
The process is simple and labor-saving. Just dump clean, un-waxed, whole or halved lemons into a pan, fill with enough water to cover by two inches, bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour and a half until the skins are soft and easily pierced with a fork. Remove the lemons, take out the pips (save them!!), then chop up the lemons and return them to the pan. Put the pips in a cheesecloth bundle and add it to the pan. Bring the whole mixture to the boil, add twice as much sugar as you have lemons, stir until dissolved, then boil for twenty minutes or until the jam sets. Pour into sterilized jars, seal, and turn upside down overnight until marmalade has cooled and lids have sealed.
What is your favorite thing to do with lemons? xo
Bush Lemon Marmalade
1 part lemons (whole or cut in quarters)
2 parts white sugar
Enough water to cover by two inches
- Place small saucer in freezer for testing the set of the marmalade.
- Sterilize glass jars and lids and set on counter to cool and air dry.
- Put lemons in large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover by two inches. Bring to boil then lower heat and simmer uncovered for 1.5 hours.
- Drain well. Return liquid to pan and set aside. Put lemons on large cutting board to cool.
- When lemons are cool enough to handle, remove pips (save them) and, if you don’t like your marmalade too bitter, scrape out pith as well. Put pips and pith into loose weave tea towel or piece of muslin and tie to form a bundle. Place bundle in pan with liquid.
- Slice lemons into strips as thick or thin as you like, then add to the liquid and stir.
- Place on stove and return to the boil. Add sugar and stir gently until all sugar is dissolved. Boil for about twenty minutes. Remove saucer from freezer and pour a bit of liquid on it. Leave for one minute and push your finger against it from the side. If it wrinkles up, it’s ready, if not, keep boiling mixture for a few more minutes and test again until it’s ready.
- When done, remove marmalade from heat, remove pip bundle, and let mixture cool for 2-3 minutes. Ladle into sterilized jars, seal well, and turn upside down overnight. This gives you the best chance of a good seal.