Finger Lime Marmalade

I have recently been experimenting with native finger limes. I have several varieties including some of the newest hybrids (but these are yet to bear fruit). To date my culinary experiments have been carried out using a reliable and productive grafted variety called ‘Rainforest Pearl’.

●  Finger limes (2L ice cream container full)
●  Mandarins (6) or Oranges (3)
●  Sugar (up to 2.25 cups)

Collect the ripe finger limes. I usually wait until some are dropping to the ground as this indicates that most are ripe for the picking. Remember that the colour of ripe fruit varies according to the variety you grow (black, green, orange), so waiting until the fruit drops is a useful way to determine fruit maturity. Wash the fruit in cold water, then place in a heat-proof bowl or saucepan. Pour boiling water over the fruit and leave to stand. Once the water cools a little, use this to wash the fruit; pour the water off and repeat the process. This sterilizes the skin of the fruit and removes some of the bitter oils found in the skin. Roughly chop the drained fruit and place it in a saucepan (skin, seeds and flesh). Add the juice of mandarins (use oranges if that is all you have), so that you have just enough liquid to poach the fruit. Reserve some extra juice to add later to thin the mix if required.  Poach the fruit and juice until the skin is softened (20-30minutes). Use a stick blender in the saucepan to chop up the softened fruit, then strain through a kitchen sieve pushing what pulp you can through with a spoon. If you have trouble pushing the mix through the sieve, you can add some of the extra juice to help the process. Return the sieved mix to the stove and add ¾ cup of sugar for each cup of pulp (use less if you prefer a more tart taste). Stir in and dissolve the sugar, then bring to a slow boil for 5-10 minutes. The skins and seeds add pectin, so you should not have a problem with the jam setting. It will be quite jelly-like when cold and a beautiful rich orange colour. Add the hot marmalade to warm, sterilized jars (washed with boiling water). Makes 3-4 jars. Enjoy.

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