The Meyer lemons are just beautiful right now. My tree sits right outside my kitchen window so I see it every time I'm at the sink. The lemons are hanging there like bright yellow ornaments, but there are also flowers, and lemons in every stage of development. If we don't get too hard of a freeze I'll be picking lemons throughout the year, but winter is prime time. All those yellow beauties, plus a handful of remaining Aji Pineapple chiles inspired this recipe. I'm not much of a toast and jam eater, but I do have a fondness for chile jam with cheese. So I thought perhaps a spicy lemon marmalade might also be good with cheese. So, here it is.....
Spicy Meyer Lemon Marmalade
1 1/2 pounds Meyer lemons
4 cups water
1 1/2 ounces hot yellow chile peppers (Aji Pineapple)
4 cups sugar
Halve the lemons crosswise and remove and discard the seeds. Quarter the lemons halves and thinly slice. Combine the lemon slices and water in a large heavy pot. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
Thinly slice the chiles and add to the pot. Bring the lemon mixture to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to about 4 cups, about 45 minutes. Add the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lemon is translucent and the jam just starts to thicken, about 10 to 15 minutes. It will still be very liquid but will set as it cools.
Ladel into sterilized (boiled 10 minutes) 1/2 pint jam jars, filling to within 1/4-inch of the rims. Clean the rims and seal the jars with scalded rings and lids. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes.
Makes 5 to 6 1/2-pint jars.
Of course, you can omit the chile peppers and just make basic marmalade. The white pith of Meyer lemons is not bitter, so marmalade made with Meyers is quite nice for those of us who don't appreciate that quality in our sweets. Another variation that I'm thinking of is to add either rosemary or thyme, either with or without the chiles.