I was first introduced to this wonderful golden recipe as courgette jam but the lemon, and especially the lemon rind contained within makes it feel and taste more like a marmalade, so that’s what I call it now, buts it’s a cross between a jam and a marmalade really. You can make it with courgette or marrow.
Early courgettes and lots of flowers. A promise of things to come.
The basic recipe calls for 6lbs (2.7kg) of courgette or marrow which is what we like to hear, huge quantities to combat the annual glut! This will make about 10-12 12oz jars. I do two sessions of 6lb each per year, which gets rid of a whopping 12lbs, and I give most of the jars of golden wonderfulness away as Christmas presents, mainly to people who are amazed that you can make marmalade out of courgettes, as was I. Everyone loves it.
It’s not only good on bread (or toast) but is excellent with ice cream or on cheese (preferably a strong-ish one). I have a mate who put it in sandwiches with ham.
Adding finely sliced hot chilli peppers to the recipe makes it even better to use with cheese, if you like chilli peppers.
It doesn’t take many of these to provide for a 6lb batch of marmalade, two to be exact.
There’s a fantastic bonus to this recipe. The courgette or marrow gives up lots of moisture during both the soaking period (due to the extracting properties of the sugar) and during the cooking. You can, if you like, boil it all off so that you can reach a setting point, but this takes a long time, softens the ingredients, and alters the flavour through concentration. It will be too sweet for me. Or you can do what I do. Once the mix is cooked and tastes lovely I pour off most of the liquid into steralised jars, seal them, and then continue boiling the marmalade to setting point. You can get about 1 jar of juice per two pounds, but it all depends on the variety and the age of the fruit.
3 jars of surplus juice from a 6lb batch, which is more than enough to flavour a gallon of wine, or just use it on ice cream.
The juice is used later for wine making and only 2 jars provides enough to flavour a gallon of wonderful wine but you can get and 3 jars from 6lbs of cooking jam, to make very tasty wine indeed. The volume of the wine is made up with water and sugar to your preferred specific gravity.
You can keep the juice for as long as you like, until you have the time or inclination to start your wine. So if you’ve ever fancied making your own wine then here is your chance to start. , and a link to the instructions is below.
So two products from one vegetable, and from one process, and you get about 10 jars of marmalade from each 6lbs of courgette, plus at least a gallon (5-6 bottles) of very tasty wine.
Golden marmalade, and amber wine, from the same batch of courgettes, and processed in the same, single process
How To Make Courgette Marmalade
The following is my recipe, but is based on existing similar recipes. Similar recipes call for ingredients which aren’t always easy to obtain so I tend to modify recipes so that I can make use of readily available ingredients.
Also I find nearly all recipes are too sweet for me so, as a standard, I use 75% of what I’m told to use and find this is near perfect.
The balance of the lemon and ginger is important and this is down to personal taste. I have it just right for me, and my friends, but you can adjust accordingly once you’ve made and tried a batch. Remember that the marmalade will not be mature for a few weeks, until all the flavours have blended, and it will even better if left longer, so don’t make a final judgement on the boiling ingredients in the pan, but on the mature opened jar. There is a difference!
This recipe is for 6lbs of courgettes or marrow
courgette or marrow – 6lb (peeled and chopped small)
white sugar – 5lb
lemons – 4 (peel and juice)
root ginger – 4 inches (peeled and sliced)
dried crystalised ginger – 120gm (chopped small)
Courgette – Peeled and chopped small (about ¼ square). This is the most tedious part of the recipe but well worth it for the wonderful texture at the end. Persevere! The pieces are then steamed until translucent.
I cut courgette into small squares by using a grid pattern then slicing
Larger courgettes or marrows may be soft in the middle, where the seeds are forming, and this spongy material needs to come out first. It is easily scooped out with a teaspoon.
Larger lumps, of marrow, have their spongy centres removed first.
I once left the skin on the courgettes to see what happens and although the taste is unchanged the appearance, to me, was not appealing, though other people disagreed. I much prefer the unbroken golden look.
Semi-cooking (steaming) at the beginning means less cooking later, and less cooking means that the texture, colour and taste of all the ingredients is preserved. I steam in 2lb batches because my steamer is too small to take it all in one go, and whilst the courgette is steaming I prepare the other ingredients. The whole process, for 6lb of courgettes or marrows, takes about an hour and quarter.
Courgette, chopped small and steamed
Lemons – I like chunky, thick cut marmalade so I cut long slivers of zest with a potato peeler, and then chop them into bits. You can chop them as small as you like and if you don’t like bits in your marmalade then use a lemon zester to create tiny pieces. You can leave the zest out but then you won’t get the ‘zing’ in either the marmalade or the wine.
The juice of the lemons is also required.
Lemon zest, chopped how you like it
Root ginger – peeled and sliced and put in a spice bag or basket so that the lumps are easy to retrieve later, and don’t accidentally get left behind in the jam.
Root ginger, sliced and put in a basket or bag for easy removal
Dried, crystalised ginger – Chopped small
Dried crystalised ginger, chopped up small
1 – Add all the ingredients to the steamed courgettes, stir well and then add your spice basket or spice bag.
2 – Leave for 24 hours. I tend to give it a stir now and then but I don’t know if this is necessary.
3 – Boil until all ingredients are cooked.
4 – Pour off any excess fluid into jars and use for wine making later (wine making>). Don’t remove too much juice.
5 – Continue boiling to setting point, or to the texture you like.
6 – After setting point is reached leave to cool for 10 minutes, then stir and put in steralised jars.
Quantity = approx. 10-12 jam jars of jam, and 3 of juice.
The sugar is added to all the other ingredients and stirred in. The sliced ginger in a basket is added, and everything is left for 24 hours.
All the ingredients, soaked for 24 hours, and ready to be cooked. The sugar has drawn out the moisture, and together make a lovely syrup. The green colour is fading and the mix and is already turning golden coloured.
The above should make about 10 jars (depending on jar capacity) and about 3 jars of juice.
Boiling away, making lots of liquid, and turning golden.
Three jars of liquid have been removed and the rest is boiled to setting point.
3 jars of syrup from 6lbs of courgettes is easily enough for a gallon of wine.
10-12 jars of this golden marmalade from 6lbs of allotment courgettes.