The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


18 January 2016

Home Grown Lemon Marmalade

I wouldn't normally make marmalade BUT when the lemon tree in the conservatory produces such a heavy crop, it would be criminal not to do something with them. For reasons I won't go into here, the marmalade requirement is no sugar!  This means buying Xylitol at vast expense - on offer at £20.89 for 2 bags gulp!  It's made from Birch sap and I'm told by 'im wot knows that the body metabolises it differently. Luckily, it advises halving the quantity otherwise, I would have needed 4 bags!!
Anyway I picked and weighed all the fruit and then followed Mary Berry's recipe substituting sugar for Xylitol.  She cooks the fruit first and it does make extracting the pulp and chopping the peel super easy. I brought the whole fruits to the boil and then popped them in the bottom oven for a couple of hours. I had a bottle of Certo (pectin) in case it refused to set - which it did. Does anyone actually know why, if no sugar is used, marmalade despite lemons having naturally high levels of pectin, just doesn't want to set? Anyway, Certo saved the day and by day I should explain, it took all day!  Step by step photos

Ginger was added to a third of the marmalade so we have a grand total of 8 jars of lemon and 3 of lemon and ginger marmalade.  Must do some labels now.  Anyway, despite a sticky kitchen full of steam, 'Sir' won't be needing bought sugar free marmalade for while. Not bad for a little lemon tree which only cost £2.50 a few years ago. (I only wish it didn't attract Red Spider Mite and Scale.........sigh!)

And...........yes I did leave plenty of lemons for G's &T's!

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