Lime marmalade

Lime marmalade is one of my favourite preserves. Since we now have our very own fruit-producing tree, I have started to make my own. A high wind caused some lovely yellow windfalls in the last few days, so we picked them up,  washed them and weighed out two pounds.

Then came the hardest part. Getting off the peel without taking too much pith was not easy. I did this with a potato peeler, but I should think a sharp knife would also do a good job.

Lime marmalade

Lime marmalade is a delicous jelly on your low GI toast.

But eventually it was achieved, and I was left with egg-looking fruit in one bowl and peel in the other.

I cut up the peel into very thin, small strips and put them into a muslin bag. This bag has been used many times for other fruit jellies, so is discoloured, but completely clean!

The peeled fruit was then sliced roughly.

This was very easy compared to slicing up the peel. As only the peel will end up in the jar, these pieces do not need to be neatly cut; they will strained off and discarded.

Both chopped fruit and the bag of peel were placed in a pressure cooker together with two and a half pints of water, brought to ten pounds and left to boil for twenty minutes.

The contents should take up no more than one half of the pot's volume. Pressure cooking softens the citrus much more quickly than just boiling.

A pressure cooker is such a labour and time saving device; avoid aluminium and watch for a special price, usually around fifty dollars. The modern ones have a safety device so it's quite impossible for your lime marmalade to end up on the ceiling.

Pressure cooking

Pressure cooking reduces the time by two thirds; it saves you time and electricity, not just with lime marmalade, but all your cooking. The new devices are super safe. 

After switching off the heat and waiting for about thirty minutes for the pressure to reduce, I carefully removed the bag of peel.

What remained in the cooker was put in another muslin bag and left to drip (in this case tied to the handle of a wheelbarrow outside!) until most of the liquid had drained into another pot.

The drained liquid was poured back into the pressure cooker and three pounds of sugar added to it. It should first be dissolved by stirring, then the heat turned up high for a few minutes till the mixture boils.

After the heat was turned to zero, the scum was scooped off the surface with a large spoon. Then the washed peel was added to the pot and the power turned up again. Occasional stirring ensures no burning.

Notice this is all being done on a portable induction stove; they are such a joy to work with, and not expensive. The provide instant heat and use less than half the electricity.

At this stage, the heat should be kept as high as is safe. Be warned that the mixture should not be left unattended; boiled over sugar mixtures are horrible to clean up.

Setting point was reached after about thirty minutes. I tested for setting point by letting a little of the mixture cool in my wooden spoon, then allowing it to drop. When setting point is close, the drops near the end will fall cleanly. I also used a cold plate to put a few drops onto, which was then left in the freezer for a minute.

When the cold drop wrinkles when pushed with a finger, you can be sure the jelly will set. I'm glad to say that I've done this often enough now that I no longer need to empty jars of supposedly ready, but in reality very sloppy, jelly back into a pot to heat it and get it to really set.

The mixture needs to be left to cool until a thick skin forms. This took about ten minutes. Then the chopped peel can be stirred in so that it is evenly distributed and won't end up rising to the top of the jar. The jars were filled and closed immediately.  My yield was about five and a half jars of lime jelly marmalade.

Healthy choice foods

Healthy choice foods give us a realistic chance of region healthy and happy old age; they affect our longevity, whether we'll get arthritic knees and our mood.

Lime marmalade on toast made from white bread, lavished in margarine, I would consider junk food.

Make your own low GI bread, and use butter and lime marmalade, yes, butter is back, and you have a reasonably healthy snack; perhaps not good if you're seriously overweight.

But low GI bread, butter and limes have many ingredients essential for health; just in moderation if you're obese, because of the calories in the snack.

Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is a health nut, semi retired chiropractor with sufficient time now to devote to organic gardening, and his seventh book.

Actually it's Helen who makes the lime marmalade; I just take the photos and enjoy the fruit of her labour. Well, I make the bread.

Have you read the other six? They are inexpensive ebooks to be enjoyed on your Kindle or tablet, or even smartphone.

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