Lime Marmalade: Sunshine in a Jar

One of the advantages of working with folks who enjoy a bit of gardening is the seasonal produce brought into work when there's an overflow in production. Last week, John brought in a big bag of fresh limes ... mmm limes! ... and Lucy promptly took a small bagful and turned them into lime marmalade which she brought samples of into work a couple of days later. I adore lime marmalade ... to me it's like sunshine in a jar. Spread on hot buttered toast ... delicious! Tangy, clear, zesty and not too sweet. Well done Lucy :-)

I took this photo just before I cracked open my jar. I thought, as I was munching on fresh lime marmalade toast, that perhaps I should have included a fresh lime or two in the picture ... oh well, too late for that now I thought soonly thereafter ;-)

Sunshine in a Jar

And, in case you wish to make your own sunshine in a jar here's the recipe :-)

  • 1kg (about 11) Limes
  • 2l (8 cups) Cold water
  • 1.7kg Caster sugar
  1. Halve and juice the limes, reserving lime halves. Place the juice in a glass jug. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Trim the narrow end from each reserved lime half. Place in a large bowl. Cover with warm water. Soak for 6 hours or overnight to soften. Drain.
  2. Cut each lime half into quarters and thinly slice into 2mm-thick strips. Place the lime strips, lime juice and cold water in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until rind is tender.
  3. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 10-15 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil, stirring often, using a metal spoon to remove any scum that rises to the surface, for 45-55 minutes or until marmalade jells when tested (see note). Spoon into sterilised jars. Store in a cool, dry place or the fridge once opened.

Enjoy, I know I am! :-)


I like sausages. I think I've always liked sausages. I like sausages so much I came to the idea that I wanted to make my own ... it's simply ground meat and spices stuffed into a casing right? So, my friend Ashley and I decided to give it a go. I mean how hard could it be? Well it turns out ... not very! 

Bit squeamish about grinding up meat and intestinal things? Here's a completely different post.


I have my parents original Kenwood Chef A701 which incidentally is as old as I am ... give or take ... and amongst the myriad attachments they had bought for it (many of which are still in their original boxes) is a mincer attachment. Please excuse the phone-pics ;-)

OK ... mechanism for grinding meat? Check!


Next we need some meat. This is roughly 2kg of pork forequarter prior to being coarsely cubed.


And after... some fat was left on to assist with the cooking...


And first pass through the coarse grinder...


Flavours ... We went with fresh, finely cut sage and thyme (about 2tbsp of each), some nutmeg and ginger and about 2tbsp of sea salt. The salt is the critical one ... too little and the sausage tastes like straight cooked meat and too much ... well, too salty ... see, I do something once and standing on the shoulders of Google Giants I sound like I actually know what I'm talking about! The spices were mixed through by hand with the addition of about 150ml of iced water which serves to congeal the fat. I didn't take any pictures of that bit for fear of encasing my phone in ground meat.

OK ... the next stage involves putting the filling into the casing to make sausages. What to use? Synthetic or gut? I spoke to my local butcher at Lyneham, makers of the famous Country Pride sausages and they supplied us a length of sheep intestine for the casing with instuction to run a little cold water through before fitting to the nozzle. As we did so it swelled up like ... well ... like gut... Ashley is seen here threading the casing onto the filling nozzle. In case you're wondering it is exactly like fitting a very long and slippery organic condom... there ... you always wanted to know that huh?


Here's the nozzle fitted to the end of the mincing attachment ready to be stuffed. I'm not going to share what I thought this resembled...


OK! Fire that sucker up and lets make a sausage!


Certainly looks like a sausage! And here's where we ran into trouble (and it wasn't because I was too busy documenting to notice what was going on ;-) ) but the Kenwood mincer with the nozzle attached kept getting blocked necessitating the regular dismantling every 40cm length of sausage or so. The reason is the design of the grinding filter and I think the worm screw was pushing meat to the plate faster than it could be pushed through. After several dismantles and scraping out of tangled meat ... definitely not a job for the squeamish ... and the application of brute force, we had ... you guessed it! Sausages!

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We then cleaned up (how responsible is that!) poured some more wine and set about cooking a couple to sample them... it was about midnight by this stage...


And the result!


And they tasted bloody fantastic! It's always a cool moment in creation when you stand back and look at something you've made and think 'We did that!'. Going to do it again? Absolutely! The only part of the process I didn't enjoy was the repeated dismantling and hand-clearing of the mincer during the filling of the casing. The Kenwood really isn't the machine for that part of the job. It did great on the initial grind ... just not the filling. I'm looking into a dedicated sausage stuffer and we'll try again after that. In the meantime I'm off to a BBQ this afternoon where our sausages are the guests of honour ;-)