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  • Writer's pictureJennifer McIlvaine

When Life Gives You Lemons....

make marmaletta! or candied peels! or preserved lemons! Its prime citrus season here in Italy, and beautiful oranges and lemons are coming from Sicily right now. My favorite vendor is a guy who drives them up a few times a week and sells by the side of the road between Foligno and Spello. These lemons are gorgeous - natural, unwaxed, and all different shapes and sizes! We also always get a carton of Tarocco oranges, kind of a semi-blood orange, with a tart flavor (the next "bloodiest" being the Moro, and then the Sanguinello: we squeeze these fresh every morning for breakfast. This weekend I made Tarocco orange and rosemary marmaletta, lemon marmaletta, and candied peels.

Blood Orange & Rosemary Marmalade 7 blood oranges 1 lemon 2 cups water sugar (about 4 cups) 2 sprigs rosemary

1. Put very thinly sliced blood oranges and lemon into a non-reactive pan with the water over low heat. Cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, overnight. 2. Sterilize the jars in boiling water for 15min. Do not boil the canning lids, but scald them in the just-boiled water after the heat is turned off. Leave the jars and lids in the water until needed. 3. Meanwhile, measure the citrus pulp, rind and liquid. For every cup of citrus mixture, add 3/4 cup of sugar. 4. Return the citrus and the sugar to the pot over medium high heat and add the rosemary. Bring to low boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat and cook at a low simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. 5. Turn off the heat. Test for gel by putting a small spoonful of the marmalade on a plate in the freezer for one minute. The marmalade should form a skin and wrinkle when pushed (you can back this up with the spoon “sheeting” test if you are familiar with it). If not ready, return to the heat and test again a few minutes later. When the gel stage has been reached, turn off the heat, remove the rosemary, and ladle the marmalade into clean sterilized jars. 6. Process in a boiling water bath (water at a full rolling boil covering the jars by at least one inch) for five minutes.

I followed the same basic recipe for the lemons, but added more water at the beginning, and added 1 cup of sugar for every cup of liquid (instead of 3/4 cup).

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