When Meyer lemons show up in the market, I get all atwitter (no, I do not mean that I start sending short messages into the ether). Almost anything calling for lemons will be that much better if the lemons are Meyers. I started with 8 lemons, which I put through a fruit & veggie wash. I do this with most produce, as even organics can have picked up poisons from the air. Ream juice into a strainer set over a large, wide pot. Quarter the rind and scoop out most of the pith, then cut into strips and add to juice. Tie up all the pith, flesh and seeds into a cheesecloth bag and suspend to rest on mixture in pot. Add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 2 hours. Squeeze all of the juice out of the cheesecloth bag. Put 6 cups of sugar into an ovenproof bowl and heat in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Add warmed sugar to the pot and stir over low heat until it has completely dissolved. Increase heat and boil rapidly without stirring 15 to 20 minutes (220 degrees). Allow to cool for a few minutes so that the peel will be suspended rather than rising to the top. At this point, I stirred in toasted walnut chunks. Process for 10 minutes.
I gave a jar of this to a friend in her Christmas basket, and she said “Oh…you have made conserve.” I’m sure I read at some point that adding nuts to preserves makes them into conserves, but in culling through various cookbooks to come up with this hybrid recipe, it seemed that it was the addition of liquor that transformed preserves into conserves. Even that was not consistent, as one recipe for orange and whisky marmalade failed to make the leap. I blended a recipe from Harrods Cookery Book for lime marmalade with a Seville orange marmalade recipe from The Oregonian and added the nuts of my own volition. The nuts fail to make much of an impression on crunchy things like toast, but spread it on a scone or biscuit and oh, mama.