Two things I don't deny: homemade marshmallows require effort. And homemade marshmallows are incredibly yummy! These citrusy, vanilla pillows of joy are so perfect in cold, dreary winter months. The meyer lemon is tamer, less sharp than a regular lemon, playing nicely with the tropical notes of vanilla. The flavors are summery and bright, really popping. The texture is soft and creamy, totally different from those jetty grocery store mallows. [If you can't find meyer lemon marmalade in your store, ask a canning friend - it's a favorite citrus among the marmalading group.] While this recipe may seem finicky, the aspects that make marshmallows a hassle are also what make them successful. Letting the sugar syrup cool once heated up ensures that the heat won't break down the strength of the gelatin. And using a stand mixer is key - there's just not enough power for full fluffiness with a hand mixer. —nomnivorous
meyer lemon marmalade [homemade or store-bought]
In a food processor or blender, combine the meyer lemon marmalade and cold water and puree until smooth. You want a runny liquid, with movement.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the marmalade with the gelatin. Immediately mix until smooth. Set aside. Grease a 9" x 13" pan. Also set aside.
In a sturdy medium pot, combine the corn syrup, sugar, warm water, kosher salt and vanilla bean scrapings. Put the stove on medium heat and gently stir. Once the mixture begins to bubble, put a lid on it and let the mixture steam and cook for five minutes.
Five minutes later, remove the lid and add your candy thermometer. Continue to cook on medium until the mixture reaches 240 degrees [another five to ten minutes - don't step away, cooked sugar likes to be babied.] Once the thermometer hits 240, turn the heat off and let the sugar syrup cool to 210.
Carefully pour the cooled liquid into the stand mixer, trying to avoid the sides of the metal bowl. Put the whisk attachment on your mixer and turn the mixer on low. After about two minutes, crank the machine up to medium. Two more minutes later, crank it up to medium high. [These are gradual steps so that you don't have hot sugar syrup splattered in your face.]
Before your eyes, the mixture will begin to aerate and grow. You want to let it mix until it has doubled or tripled in size, ten to fifteen minutes. Once you have a bowl full of fluffy, sticky white goo, it's time to move quick.
Turn off the mixer and grab your greased pan and a spatula. Spray the spatula with oil and unhinge the whisk from the mixer. Set aside. Using the oiled spatula, scrape the marshmallow into the pan. Don't get too obsessed with residue on the bowl, and don't get your fingers involved, or it can become a sticky trap.
Once all marshmallow is in the pan, clean your spatula and wet it. Using the wet spatula, smooth the marshmallows. You can lift the pan up and smack it against the counter if you'd like, as well. Cover the smoothed marshmallow with powdered sugar, gently cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate. Four hours minimum, overnight preferred.
Now it's cutting time. Get a large cutting board and gently move the giant mallow to the board - your fingers should be able to remove it from the edges. I like to place it powdered sugar-side-down. Now get a knife or pair of kitchen shears. Dunk the utensil in hot water and slice into 1" rows. Then slice each row into squares. If smaller marshmallows are desired, cut each square in half.
Using a large bowl, covered container or plastic bag, toss your squares in more powdered sugar. Use a fine mesh strainer to jimmy off extra powdered sugar and transfer to a large air-tight container. Marshmallows are best fresh and room temperature, but these can be refrigerated for weeks or frozen for months.