Sugar-Free Fermented Marmalade

After making preserved lemons I saw a comment somewhere that marmalade was once made by lacto-fermentation rather than with heaps of sugar like jam. I prefer a low sugar, low glycemic index diet so I made up the concoction below. Later I searched on-line for recipes and found most of them make a sweeter cooked product.

This recipe is tangy and salty and dosen't have the jelly consistency of a cooked marmalade. It's wonderful on sour-dough bread and also makes a great ingredient in a chicken or pork marinade. It can also be used in baking in place of candied/crystallized orange peel.

Sugar-Free Fermented Marmalade

Makes 1 600 ml jar

1-2 lemons
1-2 oranges
1-2 mandarins
1-2 t salt

Find a ~600 ml glass jar with a wider mouth and another small glass jar that fits neatly inside the mouth of the large jar. Clean both jars inside and out. Find something to weigh down the small jar with. I use glass marbles. See the preserved lemons post for a diagram of the airlock setup.

Cut all the citrus fruit into small pieces. Place the chopped fruit into the jar in layers sprinkling some of the salt on each layer and pressing each layer down with a spoon or pestle until the juices run.

When the jar is almost full push the small jar into the large jar so that all the fruit pieces are held under the juice. The juice should come part way up the outside of the small jar. Add some weight to the small jar to keep it in place. All this minimizes the surface area exposed to the air and the potential for mould. Put the large jar into a bowl to contain any overflow and cover everything with a plastic bag to keep it all clean.

Leave to ferment in a warm place (20 °C to 30 °C) for about three weeks (many on-line recipes only ferment for a few days but the raw fruit needs a little longer to soften), the mixture should bubble after the first few days. Any overflow juice can be used in cooking.

After 3 weeks the fruit should have changed texture and be a lot softer. Put a lid on the large jar and store in the fridge. The marmalade should keep for months. Stir occasionally to keep the top layer under the salty juice.

Recipes that use this: (links added as I write them)

  • White Chocolate Truffles

Similar recipes: (links added as I write them)