January 22, 2010

easy microwave meyer lemon marmalade

In honor of of tigress in a jams can jam I put forth Easy Microwave Meyer Lemon 
Eager to impress all my new canning pals in the can-athon, I devised a complicated  kumquat preserve but alas there were no kumquats to be had, the farmers markets were all rained out (it's pouring!).
With both my kumquat fantasy and my attempt at culinary pretension dashed, I decided to be sensible and use the meyer lemons on my tree.
Everyone seemed to like the microwave tangarine marmalade that I posted in December so I thought another microwave recipe would be in order.

I have been experimenting with this this technique which works wonderfully with thin skinned citrus. Do not bother making this with thick skinned fruit. You won't be happy with the results unless you trim away all the pith, and if you are going to all that bother you may as well make traditional marmalade.

The beauty of this recipe is its simplicity and speed. As I said in the  Tangerine post "this is not as complex or refined as a traditional marmalade, but is fantastic nonetheless, and a great addition to every jammers repertoire. Some might call it cheaters marmalade, but given the work/outcome ratio it’s a winner."

It is divinely easy, ZIP-ZAP-ZING
ZIP it in the the food processor, ZAP it in the nuke,and ZING it in the canner, (ok the last one doesn't really make sense, but it sounds good).


  • Use only thin skinned citrus. 
  • Do not double the recipe, the microwave will not like it and you will end up with a giant mess. 
  • Use a high-sided microwaveable container as the jam bubbles up. I like to use my 2-quart glass mixer bowl, which I can pour directly into the jars from. After you get the basic technique down feel free to play a bit adding a alcohol or spices. 
  • This is a great way to use up those bits of dried up vanilla bean in your cupboard, but if you you don't have vanilla this still stands on it's own.
  • My sincere apologies to those of you denied access to meyer lemons.


    • 1 lb meyer lemons (about 4 lemons) 
    • 1 3/4 cup sugar 
    • 3 inches vanilla bean


    Start your hot water bath and prepare your jars and lids.

    Cut of blossom end of lemons and slice lengthwise into quarters. 

    Using a paring knife slice away the thin white membrane on the edge of the flesh.  This will allow you to easily remove the seeds.

    Place cut lemon and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Puree, making sure that all the peel and section skins are reduced to a pulp. It will be quite liquid.

    Pour into a high-sided microwaveable bowl adding vanilla bean cut into a few pieces. Cover tightly with saran wrap that you have pierced a few times to vent.

    Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Stir; remove saran wrap and return to microwave for5- 7 minutes.  Remove, stir and check thickness. At this point, depending on the juiciness of your fruit you may want to return it to the microwave for another 2-3 minutes. It continues thickening as it cools.

    Stir again and pour or ladle marmalade into your prepared jars, leaving 1/2-inch headroom and removing any air bubbles. Wipe rims and place lids on screwing on lightly.

    Place jars in canner making sure they are submerged. Return to a boil and process 5 minutes (timed from the boil) for 4oz jars and 10 minutes for 8oz jars. Remove lid and wait 5 minutes before carefully removing jars. Place jars on towels or a cutting board to cool. Label,date and enjoy. 


    1. I have some meyer lemons that I just bought. I can't grow hoo. I'm going to give it a try. Seems to easy enough.

      Thank you for a new recipe.

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    2. That does look easy! I wanted to make some meyer lemon marmalade for the can jam but I couldn't find any. I made lime marmalade instead. Thanks for sharing!

    3. Love it! I am having citrus fruits come out my ears, and with the rain I have been going stir crazy! This will be a perfect way to occupy my day! Thank you. I am now following your RSS feed!!

    4. What would I alter if I wanted to make a mixed citrus marmalade, using, for instance, a couple oranges and a grapefruit?

    5. Pretty photo, Nina (the top one especially)! I have oranges outside that I need to pick and use. They are certainly not as beautiful as those oranges, but they are delicious. I am definitely going to bookmark this. I love orange marmalade. I suppose I could use the grapefruits outside for this too???

    6. EDIBLE,
      A rainy day is perfect for canning! Welcome to
      my adventures in the pantry!

      I have used this technique successfully with tangerines and meyer lemons which are both thin skinned citrus. I would certainly try a tangerine/meyer lemon combo, but would be wary of grapefruits as they have quite a bit more pith and are thicker skinned. In a traditional marmalade the pith is removed to prevent bitterness.
      I will try to come up with a recipe for a quick grapefruit marmalade.

      First of all I am jealous of anyone with a "de la" in their name, and second thanks for the compliment.
      Those are not oranges they are meyer lemons which are a thin skinned sweet lemon, almost a cross between a lemon and an orange.Read my response above to Dixie re grapefruits which I do not think wouid work with this technique. This method only works with thin skinned citrus which do not have a lot of pith.
      Happy Canning !

    7. This seems like such a good idea for a quick preserve! I love your blog design, too--all the bright colors are so cheery.

    8. agree with libby, your pics are beautiful!

    9. Libby & Elle,

      Thank you for the lovely compliment!

    10. Mmmmm Nice!
      What a great recipe AND blog post!
      Love, love the colors in your pictures.
      Finally! a recipe that only makes one pint.
      Saving this for future use.....

    11. What a great blog! My cousin David sent me your link and I am glad he did...I've always purchased canning jars, with all good intentions of learning and doing, but I never get to it and the jars get filled with baking mixes instead!

      Maybe this will be the year that I will give it a try!

    12. Hello, sounds great! Here in UK I just have an ordinarary microwave. Can I just sterilise screw-top glass jars?

      How long should I keep in fridge, or will it keep outside?

      Thanks for an answer! Judy

    13. A regular microwave should do just fine. You may have to adjust the time depending on the strength of your microwave.
      If you process the jars in a hot water bath as the recipe suggests in the last step, they will last on the shelf for a year and should be referigerated after opening. Or you can skip the hot water bath and just make the jam and refrigerate right away.
      As far as the jars go, I recommend using canning jars.
      I hope this helps!

    14. I'm just an old fashioned kind of girl from the Pacific Northwest with no access to Meyer Lemons. But I didn't put up enough jam last summer and this looks pretty cool. Are you saying I could do this with the oranges or tangereens I can buy in the store? No pectin. What thickens it? It isn't like apple butter which thickens 'cause you boil the holy heck out of it. Please let me know. I'm interested.

    15. Leann,

      This recipe requires a thin skinned citrus that does not have a lot of pith, which is why meyer lemons are perfect. I have a tangerine version ( And you are correct, this is a sort of a cross between a fruit butter and a marmalade. None of my recipes contain Pectin.

    16. I have Meyer lemon trees and can't wait to make this! It will go beautifully with the bread I just blogged about. Love your brightly colored photos.

    17. I am in LOVE with Meyer Lemons and have been for a long time. Meyer Lemons, as you all probably know, are a cross between a lemon and tangerine and there is nothing like it. I have a small potted tree which is coming along, but has to stay inside during the winter (Zone 7). Here, Meyer Lemons show up in only two specialty grocery stores (Whole Foods being one of them) from March-April and then again November-December. This recipe is the easiest I've ever read and I can't wait to give it a try.

    18. One more thing....around Christmas, try the marmalade on toasted slices on Panettone! Delicious!

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    21. What a great blog! My cousin David sent me your link and I am glad he did... with all good intentions of learning and doing, but I never get to it and the jars get filled with baking mixes instead!

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