Making the Season Bright
I grew up making jams and jellies alongside my mom. Whether I was cleaning raspberries or slicing strawberries, I spent more than a few weeks every year going through different phases in which my fingers would tell a story about what delicious preserves I'd been most recently helping bring into the world. But it wasn't until I became an adult that I began making marmalades as well. I guess we didn't enjoy them as much around my house when I was growing up. At any rate, it took having my own kitchen and deciding to give the process a try to end up regularly making all kinds of marmalades. However, my favorite variety is a stunningly bright, beautiful, tangy Lemon-Ginger Marmalade:
The key to making this simple spread is having some grated summer squash on hand. Now, if you are a gardener or part of a gardening community, you may well understand just how much summer squash you might have around by the end of the summer. I've been known to grate it, freeze it, and make fresh batches of marmalade in the middle of winter — right about this time of the year, actually. The batch pictured in this post was made with a large yellow marrow squash, which is just another variety of summer squash with a pale yellow flesh that lends itself nicely to the colors featured in this pretty marmalade:
I love spreading this marmalade on toast, English muffins, and bagels for breakfast or a mid-morning snack during the week. It's downright cheerfully bright and the flavors will wake up your taste buds! It's also lovely worked into glazes for pound cake or even baked ham or salmon. About an hour of your time will get you five small jars for use throughout the year. I'd say that's time well spent!
Part of why I save making a batch of this lovely marmalade until the beginning of a New Year is the amazing aroma it will fill your kitchen with as it simmers. After a season of amazing rich flavors and foods, this marmalade is just what we need after the holidays to keep making the season bright!
- 2 c. summer squash, grated (you can use zucchini, pattypan, or any other kind - I used a yellow marrow)
- 2 lemons
- 2 T. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 apple, cored and cut into quarters
- 2 c. granulated sugar
Place the grated summer squash in a stainless steel saucepan. Zest the lemon and add that to the grated squash. Peel the lemons. Place the peel and the ginger on a piece of cheesecloth. Gather up the edges and tie it with a string to make a bouquet garni.
In a blender or food processor, purée the apple and lemons together.
Combine the fruit purée and sugar with the grated squash, and place it with the bouquet garni in a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly while heating. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Discard the bouquet garni. If the marmalade is too chunky for your tastes, blend gently with an immersion blender before ladling into small jars with tight-fitting lids. Cool and store in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.
- Yields: 5 cups
- Preparation Time: 1 hour