Citrus juice is a staple year-round, but summer takes it to the next level. From orange juice for summer brunch mimosas, to endless lemons for lemonade stands, to bags of limes for margaritas, or even grapefruits for palomas, there is a whole lot of juicing going on. Which leaves you with a pile of juiced fruit halves, sad and empty. It always feels a bit wasteful to see them filling the bin. If you don’t compost, and if you aren’t interested in a fridge full of spa-like pitchers of citrus water, there seems to be not much you can do with these peels. Or you set up a DIY bar for a party and cut up a ton of citrus for garnish and are left with slices and wedges at the end of the night and no real use for them.
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I’m going to admit; I am not a huge fan of marmalade in general. It isn’t my first choice on toast—I tend to be more of red fruit jam girl. And I’ve never made true marmalade, which is a serious endeavor and much more complicated than other jams and preserves, involving boiling and reboiling the peel and precise measurements, not to mention canning.
But I am all about a quick marmalade. Because it is the best way to use those juiced halves or pre-cut up fruit and is the work of minutes instead of hours.
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The process is simple.
1. Take your juiced halves or cut up fruit and throw them in your food processor and pulse until you have a coarse paste with some chunky bits still visible. Spoon into a measuring cup and press down an even level.
2. However much pulp you have… that’s how much sugar to add. So it’s equal pulp to sugar, 1:1. Boil the fruit and sugar in a non-reactive heavy bottomed pot over low heat, stirring frequently, until the temp reaches 220 Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Depending on how much pulp and sugar you have, this could take as little as ten or as long as 20 minutes.
3. Pour into clean jars and store in the fridge for up to a month.
You can get fancy and add things like vanilla or spices. You can mix any number of citrus fruits: lemon lime is delicious, so is orange grapefruit, and all four can come to the party if you like. Less cloyingly sweet than traditional marmalade, it can be a terrific addition to a cheese platter and is also wonderful as a filling in a crostata or small jam tartlet or as a fresh layer in your next cake. Swirl it onto a muffin or pound cake. Dollop it into plain yogurt.
Quick marmalade might just convert you. It did for me!
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