|The big Kumquat tree on my patio is a very generous soul. The recent blossoms were so profuse and fragrant that the whole yard was fragrant for days. The seasons appear to have overlapped, so yesterday I picked some ripe fruits that were still there and made another batch of marmalade.
8 medium fruits (250g) make a couple of good-sized jars – it’s truly amazing how much yield you get. This is not a photo of my tree, but my tree is the same species (there are a few different types of Kumquat). When my tree is in full fruit it looks identical.
Some of my earliest childhood memories are of returning home from primary school in England and finding the whole house perfumed with sweet citrus aromas, and seeing big pots of seville orange marmalade bubbling away on the stove, the steam misting up the cold windows of the kitchen. I am carrying on the tradition, and I think my mother would be proud of me.
Here’s my recipe. It really works well.
Kumquats look like miniature oranges, and although they are closely related to the citrus species, they belong to a different genus altogether.
Whereas most citrus fruits are considered sub-tropical, kumquats are very hardy and grow easily in home gardens. The round, ornamental variety of kumquats are common, but the more firm, oval variety are generally the ones available in Australian fruit markets. Whatever variety, all kumquats yield a delicious marmalade which is both refreshing and tangy. It is a favourite with those who don’t like their marmalade too sweet.
STANDING TIME: overnight (that’s the fruit and water standing, not you!),
PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: about 1 1/4 hours,
YIELD: about 4 cups.
3 cups (750ml) water,
sugar (yes I know I haven’t mentioned a quantity – read whole recipe).
Wash the kumquats and slice them as finely as possible. Larger slices will yield a chunkier marmalade. Remove the seeds, if any, and reserve them. Combine the sliced fruit and water in a bowl or jug and leave overnight.
Next day, place the fruit and water mixture in a non-stick 3-litre/quart saucepan. Gather the reserved pips and tie them in a square of muslin to form a little bag. Drop the bag into the kumquat and water mixture and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer, tightly covered, for about 1 hour. By this time the fruit will be tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Discard the muslin bag of pips. Pour the mixture into a bowl, measuring exactly how many cups there are. Add an equal volume of sugar and return the mixture to the saucepan.
Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Return the mixture to the boil, and cook without stirring for 10–15 minutes, or until a spoon of the marmalade sets on a cold plate. You may like to keep the plate in the freezer for a quick set test.
Remove the marmalade from the heat. Skim off any scum from the surface and let the marmalade rest and cool in the saucepan for 15 minutes. Spoon it into hot, sterilised jars. Cover immediately, and seal when cold.
Posted by Kurma on 24/9/10; 11:50:04 AM