Here in Gargnano lemons are grown abundantly in the splendid groves that have been brought back to their original splendor by enthusiasts of our old traditions. I am fortunate to have some trees in my garden and often use them, therefore, in my cooking. So get some organic lemons. This jam is excellent for breakfast or as a snack, or used to fill tarts or biscuits. To remove the bitter aftertaste of the lemons, I wash them well in cold water and then brush their peels until they are shiny.
Taking one lemon at a time prick the peel with a wooden toothpick about ten times over its entire surface. Dip the lemons in a basin full of cold water and leave them there for 3 days, changing the water 2 times a day.
At the end of the 3 days remove the lemons from the water. Cut them in half lengthwise and slice them thinly, about 2-3 mm, removing any seeds and saving the juice that comes out. Place all the lemons in a large, thick bottomed pot and add the water. Put the pot on the stove and when it starts to boil, stir them and let them cook half-covered for 30 minutes. In the meantime, peel the ginger (this is an optional ingredient: it gives a special taste to the jam, but if you don’t like it, you can eliminate it. I love its flavor and the fact that it offers so many great health benefits) and grate it.
After boiling the lemons for 30 minutes, remove the lid and add the sugar, ginger and vanilla powder or seeds. Let the mixture simmer gently for about 45-50 minutes. Stir often as it will tend to stick. A gelatinous consistency will form and appear liquid, but will harden upon cooling. In the meantime, sterilize the jars and lids by boiling them for 20 minutes. When they are clean let them dry upside down on a tea towel. The jam will be ready! Put the still-boiling jam in the jars and immediately close them. Turn the jars upside down for at least an hour.
From “In cucina con Lilly” / incucinaconlilly.com