The sweet, bright flavor of Meyer lemon — a cross between a Eureka lemon and a mandarin orange — is one of winter’s best gifts. Enjoy a taste any time of year by preserving it in this tangy marmalade, which gets a kick of spice from fresh and crystallized ginger. The marmalade is perfect for spreading on bread or scones with coffee or tea, as an addition to a brunch buffet, or as a filling for delicate crepes (see our recipe below).
For the best texture, slice the lemons very thinly — it’s easiest to do using a mandoline. If you prefer a more pure Meyer lemon flavor, you can leave out the ginger.
Meyer Lemon-Ginger Marmalade
2 lb. (1 kg.) Meyer lemons
About 8 cups (4 lb./2 kg.) sugar, or as needed
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 Tbs. peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 Tbs. finely chopped crystallized ginger
Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids. Place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer.
Cut off the ends of each lemon. Slice each lemon as thinly as possible, preferably on a mandoline. Place the slices in a large nonreactive saucepan and add 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l.) water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Measure the lemon slices and their liquid and return to the saucepan. For each 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.), add 1 1/4 cups (10 oz./315 g.) sugar. Add the lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil rapidly, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the fresh ginger and continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 10-15 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Use 1 teaspoon marmalade and a chilled plate to test if the marmalade is ready. (Put 1 teaspoon of the marmalade on a chilled plate and return to the freezer for 2 minutes. The mixture is ready if it wrinkles when nudged gently with a finger. If it doesn’t, continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer, remove from the heat, and test again on a clean chilled plate.) When the marmalade is ready, stir in the crystallized ginger.
Ladle the hot marmalade into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch (6 mm.) of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
Process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 7 or 8 half-pint (8-fl. oz./250-ml.) jars.
Crepes with Meyer Lemon-Ginger Marmalade
French crepes are easy to make once you master swirling the pan to coat it thinly and evenly with the batter. Filled with bright and sweet marmalade, these will be a hit at breakfast or for dessert.
1 cup (5 oz./155 g.) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml.) milk, plus extra if needed
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus about 2 Tbs. unmelted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (5 oz./155 g.) Meyer Lemon-Ginger Marmalade or other fruit preserves
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
In a blender, combine the flour, sugar 1 1/2 cups milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Process until well blended. Pour into a measuring pitcher with a spout, cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. If the batter seems thick and sluggish, thin with a bit of milk or water to the consistency of heavy cream.
Line a plate with waxed paper. Place an 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-cm.) nonstick frying pan over medium heat and melt just enough of the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to coat it lightly. When hot, pour in 2-3 tablespoons of the batter and tilt the pan, swirling the batter until the bottom is evenly covered. Pour any excess batter back into the pitcher. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 1 minute. Turn the crepe and cook on the second side until just set, 10-20 seconds longer. Turn out onto the lined plate. Cook the remaining batter in the same way, adding butter as needed and placing waxed paper between the crepes. You should have 12 crepes.
Spread each crepe evenly with about 2 teaspoons marmalade. Fold the crepe over once and then again so that it is folded into quarters.
In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 teaspoon of the remaining butter. Add 4 filled crepes and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 1-1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a warmed platter. Repeat with the remaining butter and crepes.
Arrange 2 or 3 crepes each on warmed individual plates. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve at once. Serves 4-6.
Find more recipes to put up the season’s bounty in our book The Art of Preserving, by Lisa Atwood, Rebecca Courchesne & Rick Field.