Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Kumquat Marmalade

Sweet kumquats
picked in December

Remove seeds and slice, place all the pulp into a cheesecloth bag and tie to a wooden spoon to suspend over the pot of thinly sliced rind and sugar mixture. The pulp will give the pectin to jell the mixture.

It's time to post this fine recipe. We've had a bumper crop on a lovely tree and I cooked up --1 dozen plus 3 extra jars of marmalade to give as Christmas gifts this year. Kumquats have pectin in the fruit itself, which is sufficient to create a soft jelled product. I like to add 1 box of powdered pectin to ensure a nice end result. This is the recipe that really works for me, give it a try-- it is fairly simple.
Christmas Kumquat Marmalade
800 grams Kumquats, sliced into thirds, seeds popped out
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
(I triple this recipe)
1 box Pectin powder (only 1 box needed even if tripled recipe)

Wash Kumquats thouroughly and slice each into thirds, pop out as many seeds as you can and place the seeds and any pulp which comes with seeds and place into a bowl, set aside.  Weigh the kumquats (800 g.) and place all the sliced kumquats into a large bowl and cover with the 3 cups of sugar.  (Keep proportions 800g to 3 c. sugar and 3 c. water) as you double or triple recipe).  Stir the fruit and sugar well, cover tightly with plastic and allow to sit overnight on counter, or for at least 12 hours. Meanwhile, p
lace the removed seed mixture into a muslin bag. Tie the muslin bag closed with string and place in a small pan of 2 cups water. Make sure the seed bag is submerged.  Simmer this bag in water for 1 to 2 hours.  Allow to cool completely.  Squeeze out all juices (loaded with pectin) from bag into water, save water for the marmalade recipe the following day.  Discard the seed bag. 

Next day, pour the sugared kumquats into a large stainless heavy bottomed stock pot.  Add the required water, and heat to simmer.  Add the pectin powder and stir to dissolve. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring every 10 minutes, to prevent scorching. You really do have to stir, or you will ruin the product flavor and appearance with scorched fruit.  Cook at simmer, stirring for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Use the old fashioned jelly test to see if it has jelled enough, or until a candy thermometer to 218 degrees. I depend on the jelly test, I don't trust thermometers for this.  Remember Marmalade is a softer jell, but thickens when refrigerated.   Ladle into sterilized jelly jars and seal with lids.

*Old Fashioned Jelly test:  Place a saucer in the freezer.  Remove the saucer and place 1 spoonful of marmalade.  If the marmalade wrinkles and appears thickened when you drag a finger through it, it is done.  This takes about 1 1/2 hours of simmering to get there. ( Or, if you trust your thermometer 218 degrees on the candy thermometer).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas ~ Fig Cuccidate Recipe

I just finished a most festive and traditional Christmas cookie and would love to offer these instructions as a Christmas gift to my friends...Sicilian Fig Cookies

Filling (Make 1 recipe of the filling):
2 cups dried figs, cut the hard stem tips off first
1 1/2 cups pitted dates, I use the fat and juicy Medjool dates
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, lightly chopped
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup brandy
1 tsp. each orange and lemon zest
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves

Filling Instructions:
I used my food processor to finely chop my ingredients, then into a mixer bowl to finish off the filling. Cover and place in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Dough (Make 2 recipes of this dough to have enough for filling):
4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks room temp. butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk, or egg nog
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Dough Instructions:
Whisk the dry ingredients in large bowl. Add the butter and cut this into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse meal. ( pictures included) Add the egg, milk and vanilla and using hands mix to form soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead a few times. Divide into 4 equal pieces and wrap with plastic. Place into refrigerator to chill before rolling out.

Follow instructions for rolling out shown in photos below:

The Figgy Filling!

Add the butter and cut into dry mixture

Should look like meal when cut in

Add the egg, milk or egg nog and vanilla

Take one piece of dough, flatten on floured surface and roll out into a rectangle which measures 12 inches long and 3 inches wide.
Cut this into 3 equal pieces each 4 by 3inches.
Place about 2 to 3 spoons of filling in center of rectangle as shown in picture above.

Roll up each side to meet at center and pinch to seal dough roll.

Turn over the seam to be on bottom, and cut into 4 pieces.

Place the 12 pieces on cookie sheet as shown above and bake at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes. Until just golden. Remove and place on rack to cool.

Around these parts...we frost with a nice powdered sugar, egg nog, and colored sprinkles on top.
This recipe makes lots of cookies, I didn't count them yet. Wanted to get this on the blog in time for a Merry Christmas! Love and God bless you all, this season, and in the year ahead!

Follow Me on Pinterest