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).

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