Sunday, January 26, 2014

Citrus Treasures from Florida

This year for winter break we headed south to check off one of the items on my bucket list.  I have had a fascination with manatees every since elementary school and have wanted to see them up close and personal and, with the extended winter break this year, we finally did it!  
Aren't they cute!

On the way back from visiting with the manatees we got to stop for a lunch visit with my brother and his family.  My brother is an amazing gardener, cook and outdoorsman.  After our delicious gourmet lunch, he took us on a tour of his backyard.  His backyard is something akin to the Garden of Eden with oversized citrus trees, avocado plants, chickens, cats, snakes, fish all living in relative harmony.  Citrus trees were in full production and I scored several bags of gorgeous Meyer lemons and limequats.  
The limequats are the smaller ones and
the Meyer lemons are the big juicy ones.
According to Wikipedia:  The limequat is a citrus tree that is the result of a cross between the Key lime and the kumquathybridized by Dr. Walter Swingle in 1909.
the Meyer lemon, is a citrus fruit native to China thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange

However they came about, I was eager to try them in some recipes.  

Since I had a lot of limequats - more than I could ever use as a spritzer in my Perrier - the first thing that I tried was Limequat Marmalade.  I perused the internet and mis-mashed a couple of recipes to come up with a beautiful, easy tart-sweet marmalade.

Limequat Marmalade
Limequat Marmalade
  • Limequats (I used about 8-9 limequats - mine were large-y)
  • Sugar  Use 1 part fruit to 1 part sugar (I measured the sliced limequats and added that much sugar)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp (slightly less) vanilla extract
Wash the limequats, remove the seeds and thinly slice.  I used my mandolin to do the slicing.
Add limequats, sugar and water to a non-reactive pan and bring to a boil.  
Boil rapidly for at least 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
Thick, but not thick enough...
Just about there... 
Once the mixture is thickened (You can use the cold plate method to tell if it is done.) Add the vanilla. 

    Pour into Canning jars and process, if you want.  I didn't have that much so I just sealed and refrigerated. 

  The marmalade is delicious served with a little butter on a warm english muffin. Breakfast tart-sweet perfection!

Doesn't all the bright yellow make it seem so much warmer and sunnier outside?

Next up...Meyer Lemon Risotto and Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Meyer Lemon.  

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