Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Cumquats - A citrus Delight

Mention Cumquats and Mike goes into a trance. Mention marmalade and he is in heaven. But, mention those two words together - cumquat marmalade and he will go into a wild frenzy and froth at the mouth! 

So when one of our local shops was selling some very cheap cumquats I just could not resist the temptation to take them home.  However, when I counted our current stock of marmalade, I decided it was time to try my hand at a clear jam or jelly.

I was quite surprised how well it turned out! So much faster than making marmalade not spending hours cutting up strips of peel. This recipe started out as a rose hip jam and I have altered the recipe by using cumquats and varying the quantity of the sugar. I wanted something that wasn't labour intensive yet still gave the same flavour. 

The jam is a perfect colour, golden like honey and amazingly it has almost the same qualities as marmalade without the bits. This would make a beautiful glaze for cakes and I can see it teaming very nicely with some brie or camembert . So Mike - hands off, this one should all be mine.


You can vary this recipe to make as much or as little as you want. The ratio of sugar to fruit will be dependent on how much liquid you have and can only be determined once the fruit is cooked.


1.5 kilos cumquats

Wash the fruit well. 

Cut each cumquat in half and place in a large saucepan or jam pan.

Cover the fruit with cold water and slowly bring to the boil. Once boiling, add a lid, turn heat down to a very low simmer and cook for approximately 2 hours.

Allow liquid to cool then empty it into a colander lined with muslin or an old tea towel.

Gather the top of the muslin and tie with string and suspend this over a large bowl, preferably over night to catch all the lovely liquid.

Measure the amount of liquid that you have and empty it into a large jam pot. 

The theory with jam making this way is to add the same amount of sugar in grams to millilitres of liquid. 

Technically if you have 500ml of liquid you should add 500 grams of sugar. But in fact I added less. I had 400 ml of liquid and I added 300 grams of sugar. It was a guess but the jam still has a nice tart Cumquat flavour.

Add sugar to liquid and bring to the boil gently, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly until setting point is reached. I found there was a lot of scum and it had to be removed frequently. 
From boiling point, the jam reached setting point in around 25 minutes.

I  strained the liquid again to remove the last of the scum before putting into clean warm jars.

This made only two jars, but it was well worth the effort because the taste is sensational. It is a very solid set and more like a jelly, but it tastes really, really, good.

For instructions on setting point, read my blog post on Cherry Jam:

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