When I first started making jam I would follow recipes to the letter, add pectin and all that jazz. As I’ve got more practice and relaxed a little bit I’ve found that jam is very forgiving and you can get great results without all of the worrying. I never time how long my mixture simmers for anymore and I add a lot less sugar than most recipes call for. The usual weight ratio of fruit to sugar is 1:1 which results in a classic super sweet jam but I don’t find that very appealing anymore. That’s where this jam/marmalade comes in. There is just enough sugar to balance the lime juice, resulting in a very tart and refreshing final product. Most people that I have fed this too have commented on how much they enjoy the sour hit from the limes and the fact that it’s not too sweet. The original recipe calls for lemons but limes are my spirit food so I used them instead. Once when I was low on limes I substituted in some orange zest and it worked beautifully (I wouldn’t substitute orange juice for the lime juice though, unless you wanted it to be less tart). There is no pectin in this recipe so when you refrigerate it the marmalade will be soft set but still hold it’s shape on a spoon. I call this a marmalade because of all the lime zest but it is so small that you’re not chewing on bits of peel like a traditional marmalade (which I prefer).
I got the chance to make this because we spent a night at the farm of a friends parents and her step-father was nice enough to tip me off to a local strawberry grower with great prices (Thanks Glenn!). I picked up 1.5kg of strawberries for $10 and I knew that this marmalade would be the first thing I made with them. If strawberries aren’t in season in your part of the world then experiment with other fruits while you wait, or even go for frozen strawberries if you can’t be patient.
Strawberry and Lime Marmalade
2 1/4 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup caster sugar
zest of 6 limes
1/2 cup lime juice
Mix the strawberries and sugar in a large saucepan, allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cook until the mixture reduces by about half, approximately 30 minutes.
If you would like smaller pieces of strawberry in your marmalade, mash with a potato masher until it reaches desired consistency.
Sterilise two small jars and transfer the hot marmalade into them.
Screw on the lids and allow to cool at room temperature, if you hear the lids pop then they have sealed and your jam will keep for around 3 months, if you don’t hear the lids pop then keep in the fridge and use within 3 weeks.