Posted by

Victoria Lagodinsky

July 13, 2014

Emma Macdonald from The Bay Tree Preserving – pre-order from Amazon

If your garden is currently blossoming with lavender, try using it in this fresh, summery marmalade. Lavender’s strong flavour goes so well with sharp citrus fruits, making it the perfect pairing with lemons. It’s perfect for spreading on toast or hot muffins. One note of caution – make sure the plants have never been sprayed with insecticide before you decide to cook with them so you avoid any chemical nasties. You can also buy culinary lavender flowers from specialist lavender farms and online merchants.

Lemon and Lavender Marmalade

Makes: 2.25kg/5lb

Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus 15 minutes cooling

Cooking time: 2 hours 15 minutes

750g/1lb 10oz lemons
2 tsp dried or ¾ tsp fresh culinary lavender flowers
1.5kg/3lb 5oz/heaped 6¾ cups granulated sugar
½ tsp lavender essence

1. Halve the lemons and squeeze out the juice and pips. Tie the pips, and any extra membrane that has come away during squeezing, in a piece of muslin.

2. Either by hand or using the shredding attachment of a food processor, thinly slice the lemon peel, with its pith, into shreds.

3. Put the lemon juice and peel, muslin bag and 1.75l/60fl oz/6⅔ cups water in a preserving pan and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 1½–2 hours until the peel is really soft and the liquid reduced by about half.

4. Remove the muslin bag from the pan and leave to cool for 5 minutes before squeezing it well and allowing the juices to run back into the pan. Discard the bag.

5. Add the lavender flowers and sugar to the pan and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes or until setting point is reached. Test for a set either with a sugar thermometer (it should read 105°C/221°F) or put a teaspoon of the marmalade onto a cold saucer and leave to cool for a few minutes. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, then it is ready to use.

6. Meanwhile, sterilize enough jars in the oven so that they are ready to use.

7. Remove the pan from the heat and skim with a slotted spoon to remove any scum. Stir in the lavender essence. Leave to cool for 15 minutes (this will help to prevent the peel from rising in the jars).

8. Ladle the marmalade into the warmed, sterilized jars and cover immediately with a waxed disc and a dampened cellophane round or a lid. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.