I’m usually so busy most of the time that I try to find my fun in whatever I’m doing. I went on a recent shopping trip with my friend Kristin to a store that most people avoid. It’s a local store that sells an unlikely variety of things. You can find Ann Taylor dresses right next to a box of Avocados. During our shopping spree, I bought Sterling Silver Celtic crosses, a Krups coffee grinder, a pair of cute summer wedge sandals and Kumquats. Yes, a bunch of Kumquats. If you’ve never tried Kumquats, they are like tiny oranges except you can eat the skin and everything. They pack in a lot of flavor and can be used in sauces, chutneys, cakes, compotes…..
I decided to make some marmalade. When you use oranges or other citrus to make jams or marmalade no additional pectin is needed. There is natural pectin in citrus that makes it set up. There are only four ingredients in this marmalade. I thought I’d add some zing to the kumquat and orange mixture by adding some candied ginger I’d made last month. It added a depth of flavor that was delicious! There is something about home canning that makes me feel like the brown version of Martha Stewart. It must be the mason jars!
Here’s the recipe:
Kumquat Orange Ginger Marmalade
30 or so Kumquats
2 large Oranges
1/4 cup candied ginger (or you can use a 2″ piece of fresh ginger chopped up)
9 cups of sugar
Wash all the fruit. Cut the Kumquats in half and take out the seeds. Cut up the oranges and take out the seeds. Rough chop the ginger. Place everything in the food processor (skin and all) and process for a few minutes until you see small chunks. I like to keep small enough pieces that it won’t annoy me later when I put it on my toast, some people like really big pieces. It’s up to you. Measure the fruit before you put it in a large pan. The rule of thumb is that you need approximately 1 1/2 times the amount of sugar to fruit ratio for everything to set up properly. I came up with 4 cups of fruit so I went with 9 cups of sugar. (a true 1 1/2 x would be 10 cups, but I held back a bit). Cook fruit and sugar until it comes to a boil and then turn the heat to low and let the fruit simmer, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick and overflow. It should take about 20 minutes for the mixture to cook and become tender and for the liquid to coat the back of the spoon you’re using. Sterilize some mason jars. Pour hot mixture into each jar leaving a 1/4 inch clearance. Make sure the rim is clean before placing a sterilized lid and band on. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy the marmalade. I think it will go wonderfully with any pork or chicken dish as a sauce. Yielded 12 pint jars.