As the name suggests, lime marmalade is a preserve made from limes and sugar. Marmalades
can also be made from other citrus fruits - notably oranges, lemons, grapefruit or a mixture of
any of these. This recipe is based on practical experiences of making lime marmalade in the
West Indies. When using other citrus fruits or limes that are grown in a different region, it is
likely that minor modifications to the formulation will be needed to account for the different
levels of acidity.
The production of traditional lime marmalade by the small-scale processor is perfectly feasible
provided the equipment is available and the general principles for jam making are understood
Lime marmalade is made according to the basic principles of jam and marmalade production.
However, there are two potential problem areas which the processor should be aware of:
1. Lime is unusual in that it has a very high acidity (and low pH). Jams and jellies need to
have a pH between 3.0 and 3.3 to enable the pectin to set the gel. Most fruits lie in
this pH range but if they have a pH higher than 3.3, citric acid can be added to the fruit
to bring the pH down to the required range. Lime juice however has a pH of 2.7 to 2.9
and therefore the pH has to be increased. It is possible to do this quite easily by adding
sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) to the fruit pulp.
In the experience in the West Indies, it was found that the addition of 20g of sodium
bicarbonate per litre of lime juice was sufficient to give the required pH adjustment. In
each situation, it is important to get the correct pH, which should be done by adding
sodium bicarbonate to the lime juice and measuring the acidity with a pH meter.
If a pH meter is not available, it may be necessary to seek outside advice. Alternatively,
the amount to add can be determined by trial and error. Carry out a series of small trial
batches using different levels of bicarbonate and find out the best level by checking the
set of the marmalade.
2. The second problem in marmalade production is getting an even distribution of
shredded peel throughout the product. If the correct technique is not used the peel
tends to float to the surface of the jar during setting. It is important to soak the peel
slices in a sugar solution before they are added to the marmalade to increase their
density. This means that the marmalade making process is somewhat longer than for
jam making and planning for production should take this into account.
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