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!
Kumquat Ice Cream with Cashew-Sunflower Seed Praline and Candied Kumquats
Kumquat and Candied Ginger Bundt Cake
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.
Making of the Kumquat and Ginger Marmalade
Kumquat and Ginger Marmalade
- 5-6 8 oz bottles
- 2 pounds kumquats
- 4 cups (944 grams) of water
- 1 pounds + 4oz of cane sugar or granulated sugar
- 0.5 oz (14 gms) fruit pectin
- ½ cup (115 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 inch ginger, finely grated or ground in a mini food processor
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into half
- 1. Cut the very tips of either side of the fruit, and then slice each into 4 pieces, horizontally. Remove all the seeds, since they are bitter. Using a bench scraper, gather all the fruit and the juices into a large pot.
- 2. Add the water to cover all the fruit. Set it on the stove on high heat.
- 5. Let the mixture come to a boil. Once it boils, set the stove to medium heat, and let it cook for about 40 minutes. The fruit will cook and reduce down to half.
- To Make the Marmalade:
- 1. Keep a small plate with 2 metal spoons in the freezer. The plate should be straight.
- To sterilize the jars:
- 1. Wash the jars with warm water and shake off any excess water. Place them on a quarter tray.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees F. Place the tray with the jars until ready to fill them.
- 3. In a large pot, add the cooked fruit, sugar, fruit pectin, lemon juice, ginger and cinnamon stick and mix with a rubber spatula.
- 5. Keep a candy thermometer hooked safely to the pot so you can see the temperature.
- 6. Set the gas to high heat and let the mixture boil for about 25 t0 30 minutes, until the temperature on the thermometer shows 220 degrees F. You will see large bubbles, and they slowly transition to smaller bubbles. Stir the jam occasionally so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Switch off the gas. Remove the cinnamon stick from the pot.
- Do the jam test:
- 1. Add about a teaspoon or 2 of the jam on each spoon from the freezer, and let it sit in the freezer for 3 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.
- 2. Another test to determine if your jam is set: Let the jam sit in the pot after the gas is turned off. 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 forefinger through it, the jam is set.
- 3. Remove the tray of jars from the oven, and fill them with the jam. Leave about ¾ inch space from the top of the jar. Put the lid on securely, and invert them to mix. Repeat for the remaining 5 jars.
- 4. Put the tray of jars back into the oven for 15 minutes to sterilize.
- 5. Remove the jar and invert the jars to mix again. Let it cool completely for about 2 hours.
- 6. Store in a cool and dark place for upto one year OR gift them to your family and friends!
- 1. Store the jam in the fridge after opening the jar.