June 16, 2009

Brandied Lime Marmalade

Surprise! What; another preserve? What is going on at Through My Kitchen Window. Does anybody there eat anything other than jam or marmalade or relish? Well..., yes..., but. You see I am being very seasonal at the moment. After all, aren't we meant to be more locality and seasonality conscious these days. Well the citrus orchard is located out the back door and the season is filled with loads of oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins and cumquats.

The cumquats are disappointing this year. Although the tree is absolutely brimming with little orange coloured round balls, the seeds are dark and the flesh is hard. Too much water? I'm not sure, but it's a shame because there will be no cumquat marmalade this year in the show. It has always been my "proudest" preserve and has never failed to come home with a blue ribbon. In it's absence I will send secondary reinforcements in the way of my orange marmalade. Although I am very pleased with it, I am far from confident. It is just orange marmalade after all, not unique little cumquats that are much more work and slightly more challenging to turn into a luscious marmalade. Not to mention that tantalising taste. Oh well.

As a backup I have made another marmalade. This Brandied Lime Marmalade was brought to my attention by Linda at Linda at Bellavista. Isn't this cyberspace world terrific. After a comment she left about her favourite marmalade, I dashed outside to check the lime tree. By now I was used to the familiar site under the lime tree. Please do not be mortified or mad at me. I knew they were "dropping like flies"; I was just checking to see if there were any left on the tree! Yes, but definitely not as many as were lying rotting and rotted on the ground. Oh dear, the problems with abundance.

Picking half a dozen limes, I read the recipe and thought how easy it looked. No reserved lemon seeds or muslin bags to deal with as limes are loaded with pectin. It seemed very straightforward, so off I went. In less than half an hour, the limes were washed, scrubbed, finely sliced and placed in water; covered and left to sit overnight. Easy.

Next day I boiled, stirred and bottled five jars of lime marmalade. On a personal note, I found it to be very tangy and some of the rind was slightly bitter. The jell setting was absolutely perfect; then I added the brandy and found that the setting was a little looser than prior to adding it. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. One thing I do know is that you cannot buy anything like it. It is absolutely unique and different and really does have that homemade feel and look about it. It was definitely worth making and I am happy to report that hubby really liked it. For someone who is not big on marmalades that is high praise indeed. Thanks Linda for bringing the recipe to my attention and for bringing some use and dignity to six limes that would otherwise be rotting on the ground.

Brandied Lime Marmalade
adapted from the Australian Women's Weekly

6 limes
1 litre water
1 kg sugar
1/4 cup brandy

Wash limes, slice as finely as possible, discard seeds. Place limes in basin with water; cover; stand overnight.

Next day, place lime mixture in boiler, cover, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer covered one hour or until rind is tender. Measure mixture; allow one cup sugar to each one cup of mixture. Return lime mixture and sugar to boiler, stir over high heat without boiling until sugar is dissolved.

Bring to boil, boil rapidly uncovered without stirring for 20 minutes or until marmalade will jell when tested on a cold saucer.

Stand 5 minutes, stir in brandy; pour into hot sterilized jars and seal while hot.

PS: I just had a small lightbulb moment. I think this marmalade would be wonderful melted and then poured over a hot citrus cake; a bit like a syrup. Don't you just love (pardon the pun) cooking up ideas!

Another PS: Just in case you were wondering if we ate anything other than preserves round here, I have posted a picture of leftovers from last night's dinner.

And of course it went beautifully with tomato relish!


  1. ...since we don't have citrus trees in the northern climates, I'm going to try this recipe with imported limes. Don't know if the imported limes will be as good as the limes from your tree.


  2. Hi Mariana. I am just catching up on my favourite blogs. I am still in the city and there is never much quiet time here! I am pleased that you tried the Lime marmalade. One year mine was also a little runny but last years was lovely as usual. Same recipe so cann't explain that one although I have noticed that when the limes are that lovely rich bright green it works out better than when they start to yellow up. More reading to catch up on...I'll be back :-)

  3. Well Diane, if you can't grow citrus trees then you don't really have much choice do you. I would recommend trying to get a really set jell before adding the brandy because it really does make it quite a bit runnier. The choice is yours. Good luck.

    Thanks for that Linda. It may explain why my marmalade is a bit runnier than I would have liked. I most certainly did use more yellow limes compared to the green. It's all fun and learning so I don't mind having the odd hiccup.

  4. Sounds (and looks) simple but absolutely divine - I'm a bit like Maggie Beer (I wish!) in that the tarter marmalade etc is the more I love it. Lovely recipe!

  5. This looks great!You are always producing the best jams and marmalade. thanks for the comment on the malt cakes. :) made me chuckle. and is that shepards pie!?!? I love that stuff!

  6. That can't help but be an enormously flavorful marmalade. It has the added advantage of being beautiful to look at.

  7. I'm envious of those citrus trees! And that marmalade looks very appealing.

    Now, what to do with all those other limes?