Our once tiny kumquat tree isn’t so tiny anymore. It’s actually more than four feet tall now, which is huge compared to its gangly size when we brought it home. It grows slowly in our front yard, but every year it feeds us with enough adorable kumquats to make a great batch of marmalade. This is a marmalade recipe that we savor slowly during the season because the flavor of the rinds is so delicious and concentrated.

This recipe is based on a kumquat-to-sugar ratio of 1:¾. You can easily adjust proportionally if you want to make larger or smaller batches. The seeds provide the pectin for you, so make sure you don’t throw them out when you’re squeezing the kumquats.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound (455g) kumquats
  • ¾ pound (340g) sugar (about 1 ⅔ cups)

Method

Directions

DAY 1

  1. Slice the kumquats in half lengthwise. Over a bowl covered with a mesh strainer, squeeze the kumquats and rub them back and forth between your fingers. This will help loosen the fruit segments from the rinds. Remove the segments from the rinds and set both aside.
  2. Wrap the segments and the seeds from the mesh strainers in cheesecloth. Slice the rinds into thin strips. In a large bowl, combine the cheesecloth bundle, the rinds, and the juice and add 2 cups (480ml) water to the bowl. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to help soften the rinds.

DAY 2

  1. Put five metal spoons in the freezer for testing the marmalade at the end of the cooking process. Set aside 3 sterilized 4-ounce glass jars (see Note).
  2. Place the contents of the bowl (liquid, rinds, and cheesecloth bundle from the day before) in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar.
  3. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for at least 45 minutes before testing for doneness. (Do not stir during the initial bubbling, but after 10 minutes, stir occasionally to prevent the marmalade from burning.)
  4. Test the marmalade: Remove the marmalade from the heat and put half a spoonful in one of the frozen spoons. Put the spoon back in the freezer for 3 minutes. Then remove the spoon from the freezer and test it. If the bottom of the spoon is still warm, continue freezing for another minute or so. Tip the spoon to see if the marmalade runs. If the top layer has set to a jelly consistency, the marmalade is done. If it runs, continue cooking for another few minutes and test again.
  5. When the marmalade is done, remove the cheesecloth bundle and squeeze out any remaining liquid. Using a stainless-steel spoon, skim off any surface foam. Let the marmalade rest for 10 minutes, then pour it into remaining jars and follow the canning instructions.

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