In its complex balance of bitter and sweet, marmalade is the thinking man's answer to jelly and jam.
People who love marmalade enjoy bitter flavors—or, more precisely, the contrast between bitter and sweet. One such fan is Rachel Saunders of California's exceptional Blue Chair Fruit Company. "Marmalade is my favorite thing," she says. "There's more of an art to it than jam or jelly." Usually studded with bits of citrus peel, marmalade combines elements of jam (fruit cooked down with sugar) and jelly (fruit juice set with thickeners). Achieving the perfect taste and texture at home is a three-day commitment that involves both steeping and simmering fruit in water to very slowly extract flavor and pectin—a natural thickener concentrated in the bitter-tasting pith.
Here, Saunders offers three fantastic flavors of marmalades—lemon, Meyer lemon and Valencia orange—all ingeniously prepared with the same lemon jelly base.
Each recipe takes 3 days to make, but the active time is minimal—about 2 hours. Follow the instructions below to know what steps to tackle on each of the 3 days.
Step-by-Step: How to Make Lemon Marmalade