Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Bye July - Citrus Glut.

July speaks of all things citrus, and crikey... I sure have given it a good crack to get as much of it bottled, preserved, marmaladed and dried.

 Our grapefruit tree, two lemon trees and mandarin tree are loaded with fruit, which of course must not be wasted, so a few batches of marmalade have been made on top of the wood stove.

 Someone brought me a big box of their home grown  Navel oranges, which have gone into cakes, puddings, casseroles and lots of batches of marmalade.
As I was preserving a couple of jars of lemons in salt I did a trial jar of oranges salted and preserved in the same way. I'll let you know in a few weeks how they are.

 If you're not a huge fan of marmalade, let me tell you that it's the secret ingredient to the best tasting fruit cakes, orange cakes, puddings, casseroles, baked chicken, pork and so many dishes. I fill a whole shelf in the preserves cupboard with jars of marmalade every year and a dollop is generally used in some way on most days.
 Oh and if you are a fan we cannot forget the humble marmalade on sourdough toast for breakfast or morning smoko.

Orange marmalade.
Grapefruit marmalade.
If you have some citrus, here's how I make marmalade - quick and easy;
Any citrus may be used, or a combination. Use a grater to remove the zest and keep aside.
With a sharp knife cut off both ends of the fruit and then cut off all the white pith and discard.
Quarter the remaining fruit, remove pips and weigh out 500g using your kitchen scales.
Then put into the food processor and pulse until chopped but not mushy. (Or slice by hand if you don't have access to a food processor)
Place this chopped fruit into a large pan,
add grated zest
1.5 litres of water
1.5 kgs of plain white sugar

Stir while bringing slowly to the boil and then simmer for an hour or maybe two, depending if you need to turn it down whilst going off to feed the chickens, milk the cow or whatever it is that you do in your day.
Stir it frequently to prevent sticking to the bottom and burning.
After it starts to colour up (a little bit darker), do the wrinkle test.
*Take out a spoonful onto a shallow dish and place in the freezer. After five minutes ake it out of the freezer, hold it to the light and move the spoon across gently. If the surface of the marmalade wrinkles slightly, it's time to take it off and put into jars.

Dried lemon zest will come in handy later in the year when I have no lemons available. Grate with the cheese grater and dry overnight in the oven that has been used to cook something else, but is turned off. I put it on a tray in the bottom warmer oven of the wood stove where it dries overnight.

My favourite  Citrus and vinegar cleaner  is always on the go too, the fragrance is amazing.
I'm always looking for new ways to preserve this citrus goodness so if you have any other uses to share I'd love to hear them.

And just like that....July has whooshed by.

Sally XX


  1. Sally some good tips there. Jes also has some suggestions for using up lemons and oranges on her blog http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/2015/01/what-to-make-and-do-with-lemons-citrus.html

    I still have mandarins and oranges to use up soon.

    1. Hi Chel, thanks for the link over to the above blog. I'm planning on making some lemon pepper which Jes also mentioned on her blog. I tried freezing in ice trays a couple years ago but never ended up using it. :-)

  2. Oh I have a whole darned tree of grapefruit to deal with and I cannot find the love!

    My lemons are looking dismal this year, I think the winds knocked off the flowers before they were pollinated. DANG!

    Great tip on drying lemon rind!


    1. Hi Emma, yes I know what you mean, sometimes there's just not the drive within us to spend even more time in the kitchen than we already do. Grapefruit is my least favourite citrus and wouldn't you know it...it's our most prolific and healthy tree!! The cows love them though. ;-)

    2. So do Grants woodies! Winner winner! 😆

  3. I missed this post in my catching up after being away. I do really miss our prolific orange tree in Adelaide. I think you'll enjoy the preserved orange - I gave them a go a couple of times and they area great addition to the pantry.

    1. Hi Laura, thanks for your vote of confidence with the preserved orange. I hope they have that same kind of extreme citrus flavour the lemons have.

  4. Thank You for sharing your article, This is an interesting & informative blog. It is very useful for the developer like me.


  5. Thanks for these ideas! My citrus trees haven't been in the fround for long and are quite wind swept! I do have a generous neighbour with more lemons than they can use, so have picked a couple of baskets. So far, I've only made lemon curd, however I do hope to try preserved lemon as yours was delicious :)

    1. They're so quick and easy to do Kelly and you'll be glad you put up a few jars of preserved lemons when there's not a lemon to be found later in the year.

  6. I'll give this a try with my marmalade making, Sally. Just wondering though, you said to weigh out 500g for the fruit pulp, but do you weigh 500g of fruit (whole) in the beginning, to determine how much zest you're supposed to grate? Thanks. :)

    1. Hi Chris I don't weigh the fruit whole. The zest from all of the fruits weighs almost nothing and is added to the 500g of fruit pulp. To judge how many whole fruit are needed you can weigh them to get a rough indication. I take off the zest first, put the zest into the jam pot, then remove the pith (discard) and weigh only the usable fruit. I hope you get good results as I did.


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