I’ve been on a bit of a preserve kick as of late. In this last week alone I’ve utilised all of the jam jars I’ve collected/had donated from friends and family and am on the hunt for more (I don’t believe in buying jam jars. It’s much more environmentally friendly and cheaper to rescue those destined for the recycling bin). So far in the last week I’ve made a batch of Lime Pickle (It’s hotter than Hades, or as my boyfriend puts it “like hay fever in a jar”) and have also had a bash at making Strawberry Jam for the first time which is tasty but didn’t set properly due to a combination, I feel, of not enough lemon juice/heat. I know for next time.
Since I still had loads of limes left after I’d made the pickle (I still do actually) and since Gin and Limes go together perfectly I figured I’d conduct an experiment. I looked online and I found a lot of recipes for grapefruit and gin preserves but not one for a lime based one so I decided to have a crack at making my own. The results are fabulous even if I do say so. I have no idea if it’s safe to eat if you’re driving or not (I figured the alcohol will have probably evaporated what with the temperature of the marmalade but I’m not 100% sure and quite frankly I’m refusing to take responsibility for anything you do whilst under the influence of said preserve.
Lime and Gin Marmalade
- 1 kg of Limes
- 1 Lemon
- 3 litres water
- 1.5 kg white sugar
- 100 ml Gin
This will fill about 4 1lb jars, but it is good to have a couple of spare ones just in case or a selection of big and small jars.
First of all wash the rinds of all of the fruit to remove the wax. Cut all of the fruit in half and juice them. Cut the remains into small strips and place, along with the juice, into a big pan, along with the water. Some recipes tell you to remove the pith from the fruit and to put any pips into a muslin bag (as they contain pectin) but I didn’t purely because I knew that the pith would dissolve and I only got a total of 2 pips out of all of my fruit so I decided not to bother. Bring the contents of the pan to the boil and then simmer gently for about two and a half hours. By this time the fruit should be soft and transparent and the liquid will have reduced by a third. Skim the scum from the surface every now and then.
Take off the heat and add the sugar. Stir and allow to sit for a moment to dissolve. Whilst doing this, set the oven to 150C (gas mark 2). Wash your jars in hot soapy water then rinse and place the jars upside down in the oven for 30 mins then switch the oven off (I normally leave them in the oven until it’s time to use them.
Give the fruit a good stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer. You now need to watch out for the setting point. It’s difficult to put an exact time on this as it depends on the size and shape of your pan and how much you are making but if you have a sugar thermometer use this and look out for it reaching 106C. If you don’t have a thermometer just test for the setting point every few minutes by placing a drop of the liquid on a chilled saucer, place the saucer in the fridge for a moment and then push your finger through it. If it crinkles then it’s done. Once setting point has been reached, take the pan off the heat immediately and after it’s cooled for about 20 minutes, stir in the gin. Pour and seal the marmalade into the jars immediately (be careful as this will be like molten lava). Allow to cool, then store in a cool, dark place.
No idea if I’m going to keep these for myself or give them away as presents. A lot of friends have said I should sell them but I’m not sure. Any suggestions?