Finally, time to post a recipe of my own! Ok, ok it was inspired from Shae at Hitchhiking to Heaven, but I think I tweaked this enough to make it different. I was on a meyer lemon rampage of sorts, trying to finish up all of the fruit before I left for Alaska for 10 days. I had done a marmalade, I had the makings of limoncello steeping… and even though I had lots of lemon goodness now I knew I would be craving it in a few months. Hence, a preserve. I came upon Shae’s Cherry Meyer Lemon Preserves but wasn’t sure if I could even find cherries in Connecticut in mid-February, and even if I could I didn’t want to think about the miles on it to get to me. I did, however, happen to have a bag of raspberries in the freezer from this summer, and in no time this recipe was a go.
Raspberry Meyer Lemon Preserves
Adapted from Hitchhiking to Heaven’s Cherry Meyer Lemon Preserves
Meyer lemons (I think I had six on hand I needed to use)
A little alcohol of choice – I used Disaronno Amaretto
The beauty of this recipe is its adaptability. I generally use 1:2 sugar to fruit ratio with jams, and used that here. This means you measure out your fruit (a large measuring cup works great here) and then half the same amount of sugar. I think I had somewhere around 5 cups of lemons and raspberries, so I used somewhere around 2.5 cups of sugar.
I sliced the lemons as I would for a marmalade: first in half, then removing the pith, then in half again and in small slices. Then, like a marmalade, I soaked the fruit in a little bit of water and soaked the seeds for extra pectin. I added the whole frozen raspberries and splash of Disaronno to the lemons. I think a spiced rum could also be great. Or maybe lemons and strawberries with a splash of tequila instead. Add the sugar at this point and mix enough to mix evenly, but gently enough to leave the raspberries intact. Let the mixture macerate/soak/combine anywhere from a few hours to overnight.
Raspberries cook down quite easily and quickly, and I knew I wanted a mixture of chunks of fruit and jelly – like a good jam. I brought it to a boil, then I cooked it over low heat until it reached the consistency I wanted. I let it cool down while I prepped the canning equipment: boiling waterbath canner & rack, heated lids and rings, six widemouth half pint jars, and then reheated it to 220° prior to processing. I really like Local Kitchen’s Canning in a Boiling Water Bath Tutorial if you need a further details. Also, if you are a newbie canner, please check out Food in Jars and buy the Ball Blue Book. Because botulism is bad.
I was worried about the set. Fruit in syrup is nice and all, but it wasn’t what I was going for. I didn’t have any pectin handy, and like I said needed to use the lemons up before heading westward. All of the jars sealed, and I figured I could always recan or find other uses for it. When I got back I was pleasantly surprised. The set is still fairly loose, but in between fruit in syrup and jam. I’m sure if you let the fruit and sugar mixture sit overnight it will set more – I only let mine sit on the counter for a few hours.
1. Breakfast. The small bit of preserves that was leftover went straight into the fridge. Its been in my oatmeal and yogurt all week. Delicious.
2. I haven’t gone here yet, but I can’t wait to use it in/over a pound cake or yogurt cake or quick bread. I think it will be delicious!
3. I think it would be lovely mixed into a frozen yogurt.