After I made the Winchester Center Bread and Butter pickles, I was faced with another dilemma , vis , what to do with the rest of my baseball bat sized friends. The obvious solution was cucumber marmalade. Cucumber marmalade is one of these recipes that grew out of an abundance of something; clams, avocados, carrots, anything. Especially when you think back to the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, when oranges were so rare for most people that children received them in their stockings at Christmas, making marmalade of whatever came to hand made a lot of sense.
As a result , the Northeast section of the cookbook has recipes for carrot marmalade, cucumber marmalade, lime marmalade (see April 2010 for that one) , quince marmalade and tomato marmalade. The Midwest weighs in with recipes for rhubarb marmalade and tomato marmalade.So, you get the gist. Mid 20th Century home canners and their mothers could make marmalade out of nearly anything in the vegetable line. If cucumber seems to be a peculiar flavor for your morning toast, fear not. What this mostly tastes like and looks like is lemon marmalade. It has 2 tablespoons of grated lemon rind and a third of a cup of lemon juice. Cucumbers just provide bulk.
This is actually a great recipe. Those of you who remember my struggles with marmalade at the beginning of the blog will appreciate the fact that this recipe can be made as written. The author did not omit the words "for two more hours" after boil until thick. It says boil for one minute, and it means boil for one minute. Part of that I believe is due to the pectin.
Pectin, according to our Wikipedia friends, comes from the Greek word meaning "partially congealed." It is made from citrus fruits and used to thicken jams and jellies. I had actually never used it before, thus my struggles with getting jelly to jell. The stuff is a failed jelly makers dream. Just sprinkle it in and bingo, congealment occurs.
1 1/2 pounds cucumbers peeled,seeded, and chopped finely or ground (two cups) (Use the food processor.)
4 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/3 cup lemon juice
yellow food coloring
1/2 bottle fruit pectin
1. Place the cucumber pulp in a large saucepan . Stir in the sugar, lemon rind, lemon juice and a few drops of food coloring and mix well.
2. Place over high heat and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard one minute , stirring constantly .
3. Re move from heat and immediately stir in the pectin. With a metal spoon,skim off foam . Stir and skim for five minutes to coll slightly and prevent floating cucumber. (If you wish to enter your jams and jellies in contests at the county fair , I have it on excellent authority that floating fruit is a very bad thing.)
4. Ladle into hot sterilized jelly glasses and cover with one-eighth inch of hot paraffin wax. Coo l , cover and store in a cool,dark dry place.
Makes six half pints.