We only met Bush Lemons (Citrus jambihri) for the first time this year, and they’re an awesome little fruit.
Tart and sharp, but with a hint of sweetness, they make for an excellent bitter lemon marmalade. You could also try making cordial with them using this recipe, and there’s always Lemon Pepper Seasoning too…
This marmalade takes a couple of days to produce. The slicing, de-seeding and shredding takes quite some time, so it’s best attempted when you’ve got lots of spare time on your hands and aren’t in a hurry to get anywhere.
Rose scented/lemon scented geranium** (around 6-8 is a good amount to have)
Method – Day 1
- Cut lemons into quarters. Remove pips & set aside.
- Scoop out flesh with a spoon and add to a heavy based pot along with 3-4 geranium leaves.
- Heat over a low flame until juices have come out, then bring to a simmer.
- Simmer, with occasional stirring, until it’s all pulpy. Take off heat.
- Slice lemon peels as evenly as you can. Go as thick or thin as you like. We went with a mandolin slicer for a really fine shred and it was lovely.
- Add sliced peel and 3-4 more geranium leaves to a pot with roughly the same amount of water as peel. Allow to soak overnight.
Method – Day 2
- Bring soaked peel, leaves & water to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes or until nicely tender.
- Combine cooked pulp, leaves, peel & water and measure into a heavy bottomed pot.
- Add 1/2-3/4 as much sugar as fruit mixture.
- Tie pips in a clean bit of muslin/cloth and add to pot.
- Heat slowly until sugar dissolves, then bring to a rolling boil and keep it there until it reaches a Set. Test for a set by dripping a bit onto a cold plate, waiting til it cools, and seeing if it wrinkles when you poke your finger through it.***
- Skim off any scum and remove leaves and pips.
- Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal with boiled, dry lids while the marmalade is hot.
*This will work with other types of lemon as well. And limes. And oranges. And grapefruit. If using citrus other than lemon, be aware they don’t have as much pectin, so you’ll still need to add a bit of lemon to help it set properly.
**Rose scented geranium is actually a type of pelargonium. Some true geranium leaves are not edible, so please do your research and make sure you’re only using edible plants. Here’s some info on some edible pelargoniums to get you started.
***This marmalade sets quite quickly, and unlike other jams, it still looks super runny when it’s hot (ie it doesn’t ‘sheet’ off the spoon the same way a berry jam would). Start testing for a set earlier than you normally would, otherwise you’ll end up with marmalade that you have to carve out of the jar.
Store in a cool dark cupboard for potentially years before opening, then in the fridge once you’ve cracked the jar.
Permaculture Principle 2: Catch & store energy; 3: Obtain a yield; 6: Produce no waste
Here are some more ideas of what to make with winter citrus…