KUMQUAT AND GINGER MARMALADE
Kumquats are little orange jewels, a very pretty orange actually, almost oblong in shape, and size of cherry tomatoes. They are originally from China, but they can be grown in warmer climates. Hence California have them too. The first time I tasted a kumquat was a few years ago. A colleague/friend from work, made me taste these little beauties, and I was blown away by how sweet they were. You can eat the skin as well. You can pop them in your mouth like cherry tomatoes. The skin is not bitter at all or tough. Since then I have been obsessed with kumquats and to make recipes with them too. I have a recipe in my book with kumquats that I am very excited to share with you!
I even bought a kumquat bush, and planted, it and finally it is bearing fruit. The ones on my little tree, are round in shape, but the taste is just the same, where you can eat the skin as well. Kumquats are in season only for a short period of time, say a month or two months. The window is short. Since I go to the farmer’s market every Sunday, I keep an eye out at my favorite fruit stall, as to when those beauties arrive, so I can make something delicious with them! They come around February, and stay for upto 2 months until end of March. Hopefully, one day my kumquat tree will flourish like my lemon tree is now! With hundreds of kumquats!
Here are the recipes that I created with Kumquats, that are on my blog. I hope you get a chance to try them!
WHAT IS A MARMALADE?
Marmalade is made from citrus fruits, and they are made by boiling the fruit along with the fruit peel, sugar and water, to form a chunky jam, that is slightly bitter in taste. They originate from Europe, and although I never liked the taste of marmalades growing up(I think it is an acquired taste!), as I have grown older, I love the marmalades I have created from the citrus available in California. My favorite has to be the blood orange and rosemary marmalade, the recipe that I am sharing in my upcoming cookbook, that is available for pre-order at Amazon!
I have always wanted to make a marmalade with kumquats. The skin is not bitter, so I imagined the taste would be really fragrant, fresh, citrusy, and perfect for Spring! Here I am sharing the recipe for this beautiful Kumquat and Ginger Marmalade!
KUMQUATS BOILING WITH WATER TO SOFTEN
COOKED KUMQUATS, MIXED WITH OTHER INGREDIENTS, AND BOILING AWAY
HOW TO MAKE A GOOD MARMALADE:
A good trick is to slice them thin and remove the seeds so that the end product is not chunky, yet has a bite to it. The slicing does take a bit of time, I would say a good 20 to 30 minutes for 2 pounds of kumquats, but I know the end product is absolutely rewarding and delicious! I first soften the fruit with only water, by boiling the mixture for 40 minutes.
Granulated or cane sugar, a bit of fruit pectin, freshly grated ginger, and a cinnamon stick is added to the cooked mixture, and boiled for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the temperature reached 220 degrees F, which is the temperature at which the jam/marmalade sets and gets a good gooey consistency when at room temperature. I add a bit of fruit pectin because I do not like it when the mixture is a bit runny. I love a honey like consistency for my jams and marmalades.
HOW TO STERLIZE THE JAM JARS:
I buy these Ball 8oz jars from Amazon, or they are available in packs of 12 at the grocery store as well. The way I sterilize them is, I wash them in hot water thoroughly. Then I put them on a baking tray, and put it in the oven, pre-heated to 230 degrees F, when I start cooking the jam/marmalade. So it is in the oven for around 20 to 30 minutes. The jars are filled, lid closed, and then they go back into the oven to sterilize again for 15 minutes. This ensures that the jars are sealed properly, so that you can store them for upto a year. This is how I sterilize all my jams and I have been doing this method for years now.
You can sterilize them in a big pot of boiling water, which is the traditional way of sterilizing/sealing the jam jars, but I find that method a bit messy and tedious.
HOW TO TEST THAT YOUR JAM IS DONE:
- Add about a teaspoon or two of the jam on each spoon from the freezer, and let it sit in the freezer for three minutes. When you remove the plate with the spoons, the jam should slowly come off the spoon but it should NOT be runny. That is when you know that the jam is set. If it is runny, boil the jam for another 2 to 3 minutes, and repeat the procedure, until the jam is slightly dense.
- Another test to determine if your jam is set: Let the jam sit in the pot after you turn off the heat. Use a rubber spatula after 3 to 4 minutes and run it over the top of the jam. If it sets on the spatula, and you can run your finger through it, the jam is set. If the layer is still thin, let it boil for another 2 to 3 minutes and do the test again.
The best way that I love having a good marmalade, is on a slice of sourdough toast, along with some good salted, room temperature butter like KerryGold. I grew up eating a lot of toast and jam, along with Masala Chai, so this is my favorite way to enjoy it. I hope you get a chance to make this marmalade, while the kumquats are still in season! The marmalade is so full of flavor, and perfect to enjoy with some toast.
I would love to use it in a cake too, with the marmalade in the center! It would be so good and fresh, and perfect for Spring get togethers!
If you do make this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram, and/or leave a comment on this blog post.