Posts Tagged ‘make your own cumquat jelly’

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And now for something completely different…

We’ve never been big marmalade fans, so when Annick gave us a bag of cumquats from her tree, we weren’t sure what to do with them.  Pete eventually decided to make cumquat jelly.  It’s delicious – sweet with a hint of bitterness , and an interesting, complex flavour that’s reminiscent of Grand Marnier.  I’m sure we’ll find a myriad of sweet and savoury applications for this – if there’s any left over to play with.  So far, everyone who’s tasted it has asked for a jar…

Here is Pete’s original recipe.  It makes quite a lot of jelly, so make sure you have plenty of sterilised jars ready to go (we pop ours into the dishwasher to clean them before we start).

  • 1 kg cumquats, washed well in warm water, halved
  • 1 lemon cut in 16ths
  • 1 x 300ml jar homemade pectin
  • 2 kg sugar

Note: when cutting the fruit, use a sharp knife and be careful not to lose too much juice.  This recipe makes about 8 x 300ml jars.

1. Place the cumquats and lemon (including all the seeds and peel) in a large stock pot.  Add approximately 1.75 litres of filtered water and the jar of pectin.  Gently simmer the fruit (covered) for 1 – 2 hours.

2. Half way through the cooking time, break up the fruit with a potato masher.  Continue to stew until the fruit turns into liquid mush.

3. Line a colander with a clean, open-weave cloth and pour boiling water over it to sterilise.  Place the colander over a large bowl and pour the cooked fruit and all the liquid in to drain.  Allow the pulp to drain until quite dry – several hours or overnight.  Don’t press the fruit in any way, or you’ll get cloudy jelly.

4. Measure the drained liquid.  You need a total of 2 litres.  This might vary a little depending on how juicy your cumquats are – if necessary, adjust the sugar accordingly.  Pete used two kilos of sugar to two litres of strained liquid.

5. Pour the liquid into a large stock pot.  It has to boil right up in the pot in order to set, so make sure it’s big enough. Add the sugar to the warm liquid, stir and then heat gently to dissolve.

6. Bring to a gentle boil then skim well – there should be a lot of white foam to remove.

7. Once the jelly has been well skimmed (be patient and do a good job, to ensure you get a clear, jewel-like end product), turn the heat up and boil vigorously until the jelly rises up in the pan to around five times its original volume.

8. Turn off the heat and check if further skimming is required. Test for set by putting a spoonful on a cold plate.  Allow to rest until cool, then push it with your finger.  If it wrinkles, it’s set.  Also, if left undisturbed for a couple of minutes, the hot jelly should start to form a very thin, delicate skin on the top of the liquid – a good indication that it will set well.

9. Once the jelly is setting up, pour it into sterilised jars, seal tightly, and hot water process by boiling them for at least 10 minutes in a large saucepan of water, with the liquid covering the lids by at least 1″ (2.5cm).  Make sure you don’t pour cold water onto the hot jars, or they’ll crack – have the water already boiling and gently lower the sealed jars in.

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See our Jam Making Primer for more tips on making jam.

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