Actually Easy Lemon Ginger Marmalade

by Wendy Copley on March 21, 2010

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Are you ready? Because it’s time for Marmalade: Part Deux: The Easier Version!

Just a few days after my last marmalade endeavor, our neighbors gifted us with a big bag of lemons from their tree. We are so lucky to live in the area we do, because there are fruit trees everywhere. We don’t have any in our yard, but in the yards surrounding ours there are 6 different types of fruit growing: lemons, kiwis, pears, plums, apples and apricots! And that’s not even counting what we have access to via our friends and family. I have a feeling this bounty will be fueling my new-found obsession with canning for quite a while to come.

But anyway, back to the lemons. I had 20 lemons sitting on my counter for a week or so, staring at me.

Taunting me.

Challenging me to find a marmalade recipe that would be fun to make.

It wasn’t long before I cracked and broke out my nemesis, the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Last time it did me wrong, but this time I was determined to find a way for us to work together and maybe…possibly…even become friends. After carefully reading through a few recipes, I settled on one for lemon ginger marmalade that went so far as to use the word “easy” in it’s title. Happily, this time the authors were telling the truth. The recipe was pretty quick (for a marmalade recipe at least) and didn’t make me screw around with lots of unnecessary steps. Start to finish, the whole process took less than 2 hours!

I decided to get all my ingredients ready before I did any cooking. I didn’t know exactly how much ginger I needed to yield a cup after it was grated, so I just started peeling and hoped for the best. It turned out that I peeled too much to start. I ended up using two of the big chunks and two of the smaller ones you see pictured here.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

I was going for easy, so I grated the ginger in the food processor. I liked how the blade looked with all the hairy fibers on it after I ran the ginger through, so I took a picture:

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Here are my lemons. The pale yellow ones are from the neighbor’s tree, the orange-y one is a Meyer lemon that was close to going bad.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Next, I used a vegetable peeler to take the yellow zest off the lemons. Don’t be fooled by the knife in this picture! I used a peeler! it was much, much easier than a knife would be.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Once all the lemons were peeled, there were a few with too much white stuff on them still. I just scraped that off with a knife.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Then I sliced the peels into thin slivers. I made them as thin as I possibly could get them.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

I forgot to take a picture of this next part, but the next step was to segment the lemons. First, I cut the white pith from lemons, exposing the juicy parts of the segments. Then, working over a large bowl to catch juice, I cut the lemon segments from the membrane. As I completed each lemon, I squeezed the membrane to remove as much juice as possible, collecting it in the bowl. Some of the lemon seeds went in the bowl when I did this, so I just fished those out and discarded them along with the membrane.

Then I started heating the jars and the lids. I didn’t take a picture of that either. If you don’t already know the basics of canning, you can read about how to prep the jars here.

OK, now it’s time to cook! Combine the lemon peel, 2 1/2 cups water and a half teaspoon of baking soda in a pan and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for five minutes. Turn off the heat. Measure out one cup of lemon segments and juice and add it to the pot along with one cup of grated ginger, and a 1.75 ounce box of pectin. I’m not positive, but I think the pectin is what makes this recipe easy. I will now express my feelings for pectin:

Dear Pectin,

I love you very much! I will always be grateful to you because now that I’ve found you I don’t have to stand in front of the stove for two hours stirring a pot of molten sugar and citrus juice. You are my #1 most favorite gelling agent!

Love always,
Wendy

Stir the mixture until the pectin dissolves completely. Bring it to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Add the sugar all at once and bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring constantly the whole time. Once it reaches a full, rolling boil, let it cook for one more minute still stirring the heck out of it.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Now you’re ready to fill the jars. See the recipe down below for those instructions. I let mine sit over night and this is what it looked like in the morning when I held it up in front of the window.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

I was worried that the color would be so-so, but it came out a beautiful yellow color with flecks of darker yellow peel and ginger suspended inside.

And here it is with a label on it:

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

This time I made the label look like a slice of lemon. I like it a lot and I think I’m going to be using this art for my marmalade labels going forward. I’ve made this template available for download (along with orange and lime labels) so you can use it too.

Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Here’s the full recipe. If you’re not familiar with canning, you should read up on the basics in order to make sure you’re doing it safely. The Ball canning site has great instructions. Don’t be scared though! So far, I’ve found the actual canning to be the easiest part of the whole marmalade making process.

Easy Lemon Ginger Marmalade

Ingredients

  • 6 small lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup coarsely grated gingerroot (about 12 oz.)
  • 1 (1.75 ounce) package regular powdered fruit pectin
  • 6 1/2 cups sugar

Directions

  1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest (the yellow part of the peel) from the lemons in strips. Cut strips into thin slices.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the white pith from lemons, exposing the juicy parts of the segments. Working over a large bowl to catch juice, cut the lemon segments from membrane. Place segments in bowl and squeeze membrane to remove as much juice as possible, collecting in bowl. Fish out any seeds that fell into the bowl and discard them along with the membrane.
  4. Peel and grate the ginger if you haven’t done so already.
  5. In a large deep stainless steel saucepan, combine lemon peel, baking soda, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes until peel is softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Measure 1 cup lemon segments and juice. Add to the pan with the lemon peel along with the ginger. Whisk in pectin until dissolved.
  7. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
  8. Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space if necessary by adding hot marmalade. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  9. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove lid from the pot. Let the jars sit in the pot for 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, decorate the jars so they’re super-cute and give them away to deserving friends and family members.

Actually Easy Lemon Ginger Marmalade

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  • Sara

    I've never eaten lemon ginger marmalade but I love, love, love Carr's lemon ginger cookies. Your marmalade looks as if you captured and canned a ray of sunshine. It will be such a treat on morning toast with tea. Good job!

  • http://shannon.users.sonic.net/blog/ siduri

    They look beautiful! And yummy!

  • ernestmiller

    Any chance of sharing the template for your labels? Thanks!

  • avanmoo

    I am going to give this a go! Your photos help to make it look easy. I've never made marmalade before, but I know my husband would LOVE this! Thanks!

  • SisterDiane

    This stuff is so beautiful! I fear canning and jam, but I'm a total sucker for lemons and ginger. Your label is the cutest!

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  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    Hi Ernest! I posted my label template, plus ones for orange and lime-based preserves today: http://wendolonia.com/blog/2010/03/23/printable

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  • artypie

    If you keep the pips and white pith, tie them in a piece of muslin and hang it from the handle of the pan into the marmalade when you start, you shouldn't need to buy pectin as the pectin is in the pith and pips. Squeeze the bag periodically with the back of a spoon to release the pectin.

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  • http://bethtoddcreatz.etsy.com/ BethToddCreatz

    I love this!
    It gives me hope that a cooking-challenged person as I am might actually be able to successfully make this!
    Sounds so yummy too.

  • samsstuff

    Yum! Thanks for posting this! I saw this in Craft & had to stop by.

  • http://www.beanstreetmarket.blogspot.com/ Amy

    Hi Wendy- found your blog through CRAFT- very cool! I used your pretty marmalade as inspiration for one of my soaps. I also borrowed one of your pics to show the inspiration on my blog- please let me know if that's not okay. And I hope you stop by and check out the end result: http://beanstreetmarket.blogspot.com/2010/04/so

    Thanks, and I *love* your Bentos boxes!

  • Mandy

    Hello and thanks so much for the recipe, instructions and photos! I've decided this would be a most perfect favor for my end-of-summer wedding, and am curious how *much* marmalade this recipe makes? Just need to plan ingredients accordingly for ~50 people.

    Thank you!

  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    Hi Mandy —

    Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    This recipe produced seven 8 oz. jars of marmalade. One thing to let you know if you're planning to make a big quantity of this recipe — one of my friends tried to double the recipe and he ended up with soupy marmalade that didn't set. I wasn't there when he made it (plus I'm new to canning) so I'm not sure what went wrong, but I thought I'd throw that out there so you can plan your production. Good luck!

  • Mandy

    Perfect – thank you so much! I'm new to canning, so I'll not risk it, and just stick with the recipe but make several batches.

    Many thanks!

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  • Lisa G

    beautiful! I would have made preserved lemons. I love preserved lemon chicken.

  • Mandy

    Hello!

    Just wanted to thank you again for the amazing recipe and helpful answers… My mom and I were successful in churning out 60 jars of this marmalade in a weekend and it turned out AMAZING – and we made it in the individual batches with little to no variation in the end results.

    It's DELICIOUS on both crusty bready items (lemony zing!) as well as… chicken! The ginger makes it work nicely for both.

    Thanks again!!!

  • RiparianJohn

    Hi,

    I noticed a post in this list that said someone had tried to double the batch and it failed. I have never in 40 years of canning successfully doubled a batch of jellie anything. I have resolved to just make one batch at a time. Like now I have a boon in the form of about fifty ripe meyer lemons from an aunt in California. I am using 6 at a time and this recipe. Great results. Lovely marmalade. Thanks to all. Remember Hope is what tells us to keep going when all around tell us to quit. Don’t quit. We are all great. Cheers, :)

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  • Susan

    Excellent recipe. Thank you. It came out looking and tasting wonderful. We were at a street market in lower Manhattan and bought 2 pounds of ginger for $1 (a bit past its prime, but cut that part away) and the vendor threw in a couple lemons. Then I checked the Internet for recipes, and by good fortune found this. Thank you.

  • Nadine

    What is a canner?  I’ve never used one, and don’t have one.  Can you just boil it for longer instead?

  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    Hi Nadine —
    A canner is just a way to refer to the pot that you process the jars in. You can buy a specialized pot that’s designed to hold jars like this one or you can just use a stock pot with a rack in the bottom (like I do). Cooking time would be the same either way. Hope that’s helpful!

  • Krissy

    We received a jar of Lemon Ginger Marmalade from a friend’s mom a few years ago.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it….but then my husband suggested we melt some  in the microwave and brush it on a ham steak while cooking it.  It was delicious!  We were sad to see the empty jar!  I’m new to canning, but this is one of the first recipes I’ll try!  Thanks for sharing!

  • The Canny Canner

    How many pint jars does it make?

  • Scott McRae Collingwood

    nice photies too, thank you

  • Davijo210

    i gotta say “WOW!” this recipe was super simple (except long and semi-tedious prep time) but it turned out GREAT!!! Thank you!!!

  • Adrienne

    I made this twice in February, and now (April), it’s all gone. I can’t wait to make another batch.  Thanks for sharing the recipe.  It’s brought much delight to my little world! My mom, grandmother, and co-workers all thank you, too.  :)

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  • valérie

    oh quel travail….. Mais que cela doit-être bon :)) et en plus c’est très beau!!!!!

  • Molly

    Hello, I was wondering what is the purpose of the baking soda? I’ve never seen it in a canning recipe before! Looks delicious:)

  • Jenn

    Just wondering…can I make this recipe without the ginger?

  • TC

    Far too much ginger and I made 16 jars of the stuff! I recommend that anyone else making this halves the quantity of ginger.

  • FFitzgerald

    Same here – love the result; dread the prepping. My tip is to use a Rotato. I score the lemons – four vertical lines – then let it make the lemon chips as it peels.

    Wendy, thanks so much for a good beginner’s guide as I had no clue where to start with the raw fruit until I read this. Delicious!

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