Baby tomatoes

Baby tomatoes

Friday, February 20, 2015

Canning Cookbook- Spiced Kumquat Jam

Lots of ladies in a canning group I am in have been talking about kumquats lately. Some people like to can them whole in a light syrup. I thought they would be better in a jam, which is how I'd be more likely to eat them. If you haven't seen them before, kumquats are teeny tiny citrus fruits, about the size of grape tomatoes.

Because kumquats are relatively expensive here in the frozen Midwest, I didn't have pounds of fruit to work with. I had to buy a package and work with that. I wanted something not too similar to a marmalade, as the kumquats have very tender peels, and wanted to use as much of the pulp as possible. I also supplemented the pulp with a couple of oranges, cheating, I know, but I didn't want to shell out $10-15 in fruit for a single jar of jam. 

Spiced Kumquat Jam

1/2 lb kumquats
2 oranges
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 cups water
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves

Cut the kumquats into quarters. Scrape the pulp into a bowl and set the peel aside. 

Remove any seeds from the pulp and any large pieces of membrane. I was glad I bought the oranges because the inside of the kumquats were not juicy at all. 

Finely chop the peel. Zest both oranges and add to the kumquat peel. Cut the orange into pieces and cut out as much pulp as possible, leaving the peel and membrane behind. It's easier if you cut the orange into supremes first, but you don't have to go to so much trouble. Be sure to do so over a bowl to catch all the juice.

Combine everything in a saucepan and bring to boil. Adjust the sugar according to the tartness of the fruits. Simmer until you reach the jelling point. If you use a thermometer, it's 220 degrees.

Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves and ladle the jam into a jar. Cover and store in the fridge.

I ended up with about a half pint of jam, so it wasn't something I would process for shelf storage. Now if I lived in a warm climate and had access to several pounds of kumquats I sure would, and follow the processing time for orange marmalade.

The spice flavor was very subtle in this jam, and the kumquat peels are so delicate they really softened up during cooking. I like marmalade but the peel in marmalade has a definite "bite" to it- not the case here. This is something I'd definitely make again but heat not quite to the jelling point and use it as pancake syrup. This jam is going to be perfect with freshly baked biscuits!

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