I believe citruses are perfect winter food, be it clementines,mandarins or oranges. Last year, we indulged in some Clementine curd and red-wine poached kumquats. This year, the kumquats play centre stage in a recipe where I employed the services of my blender for many reasons – it is done in a snap and helps concentrate the flavours by making every part of the fruit contribute. I particularly adore this Kumquat marmalade for its finely hacked citrus bits. —Kitchen Butterfly
1/2 – 1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon finely minced/grated ginger
2 cups water
Crushed seeds of 4-6 cardamom pods
In This Recipe
In a spice/coffee grinder, blend the cardamom seeds with some sugar, to crush the seeds and maximise the flavour extracted.
Wash the kumquats and remove the stalk/stalk bed. Slice the kumquats in half length-ways then separate the skin from the central fruit flesh and seeds being careful not to discard anything of the membrane and seeds - set them aside in a small bowl as they're pectin-rich, perfect for providing a great set.
Put the kumquat skins and the water in a large non-reactive bowl. Then put the membrane and seeds in a cheesecloth spice bag or in a makeshift cheesecloth bag – add to the skins in water. Cover and let stand for about 12 hours or overnight.
After the ‘rest’, gently squeeze the cheesecloth into the bowl with the skins and water, to release the translucent, thick pectin-rich juices. Repeat the squeeze until most of the juices have been extracted, then discard the membrane and seeds.
Put the kumquat mixture in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times, till the skin is chopped up and you get a cloudy, orange mixture.
Pour the fruit mixture into a heavy-bottomed, medium sized saucepan and add the cardamom sugar and the ginger, stirring to dissolve it.
Bring to a boil on high heat, 1 – 2 minutes and then turn down heat to a simmer to prevent excessive caramelisation and preserve the colour. Allow it to simmer, checking for ‘readiness’ by visual inspection – skim off any foam, and gently stir occasionally. From the world of jam gelling, it is ready when the temperatures reach about 100 degrees C (or 215-220 degrees F) and a teaspoon of mixture dropped onto a cold plate gels.
Remove the pan from the heat once it has set and let stand for about 5 minutes. Then use as you want or can, according to your favourite canning recipe.