Eingemacht is a yiddish word for beet preserves made primarily during Passover. Marmalade is a kind of preserve made with citrus, including the peel. Lemon ginger beet marmalade is an updated eingemacht variation worthy of passing down to the next generation.
In The Jewish Festival Cookbook, published in 1954, authors’ Fannie Engle and Gertrude Blair think eingemacht originated in Easter Europe where clever berryers (homemakers!) made vegetable preserves using the sweetest vegetables they could find. Fruits wouldn’t have been available in early Spring during Passover. The beets called for in vintage recipes are not necessarily fresh from the ground either, they’re fermented beets called Russell beets. Fortunately, I live in the South and can use fresh farmers market spring beets to keep my marmalade lighter and fresher tasting…
Perusing my Jewish cookbook collection, similar recipes for eingemacht started appearing in the late ‘50s (including Love and Knishes by Sara Kasdan, published in 1956 and The Original Jewish Cookbook by Mildred G. Bellin published in 1959.) Before this, I couldn’t find a published eigenmacht recipe. In 1988 eigenmacht recipes reappeared in both The Jewish Gourmet Cookbook by Judy Zeidler and The Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan.
Lemon Ginger Roasted Beet Marmalade tastes like a seductively lemony ginger marmalade with sweet but hard to identify beet flavor. After all, beet sugar doesn’t taste like beets and is made from beets because they are so naturally sweet.
Serve this during Passover as you would any marmalade: spread on plain matzo, matzo brei, or meat.
Eingemacht: Lemon Ginger Beet Marmalade
Makes about 3 cups
1 lb beets – cut into 1” long thin slivers (it will equal about 3 cups)
2 cups sugar
2 lemons – sliced into quarters then sliced thin (remove seeds)
2 Tbs diced candied ginger
1 cup water
- In large saucepan add beets, sugar, lemon slices, ginger and salt. Let sit for 1 to 8 hours at room temperature.
- Over medium high heat bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until syrupy, about 30-45 minutes. Watch carefully after 30 minutes because marmalade seems to change from liquid to syrupy fairly quickly.
- Let marmalade cool before storing in covered containers in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 6 months.