Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Cumquat Marmalade - or is that Jam or Kumquat?

Odd just how many spellings of this fruit - also known as calamondin - are buzzing around the blogosphere.  And do we call it jam or marmalade?  I give up folks!  Let's just make it and eat it 'cos it's delicious.  I was very lucky to receive a bagful of home grown fruit from our English mates, who have a garden full of herbs and veg., and fruit of course.

These were the most exquisite, glowing orange globes; all soft and pretty.  Just crying out to be used in a conserve.  I had made cumquat jam years ago that took forever to make as you had to finely slice the fruit into teeny tiny pieces before boiling up with sugar.  Nup, I wasn't doing that again so I found an easy peasy recipe on the Net from the website EssentialKids.  So here is my version of that; clearly not for kids with the gin:=)

glorious glowing globes


1 kg. cumquats

5 cups water

2 (40 mLs) tbs lemon juice

5 cups of sugar - I used raw and white

1/4-1/2 cup of gin or vodka


Cut the fruit into quarters and place in a large (non-metallic) bowl

Cover the fruit with the cold water; cover the bowl with a cloth or cling film and leave to soak overnight

Next day, tip it all into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan

Stir in the lemon juice and bring it to a boil

Turn down the heat till it is just simmering and let it go for 30 minutes

Now that the fruit is soft, tip in the sugar and stir till dissolved

Bring it all to a boil and let it rip on high heat without stirring for 20-30 minutes

To test if ready, spoon a wee amount onto a cold saucer (i.e. one you have placed in the freezer for a few minutes) and whack it back into the freezer for a couple of minutes

Take it out, run your finger thru it, and if it stays apart, and appears a bit thick, it is ready

If not, keep boiling for a few more minutes till the freezer test tells you it is done

Stir in the gin or vodka

Let it rest for 10 minutes; take out any obvious pips (and the muslin bag of pips if doing that step) and bottle it in clean, hot, sterilised jars - if your jars are cold, the jam will probably crack them

I keep the jars of jam in our second fridge, but they will last in the pantry for many months too


5 cups of sugar equals c. 1050 grams; I used about 650g. raw sugar and 400g. white sugar

I didn't worry about the pips.  Any that came out when I quartered the fruit were scooped up into a little muslin bag which I threw into the pan when making the jam.  I spooned out any obvious ones when the jam was all finished boiling up, and just left the rest to be put in the jars with the jam.  Spit them out when you eat it folks! Warn your guests of course

Jars can be left to soak in hot, soapy water then shoved into a 150C oven for 20 minutes while you cook the jam

quartering the fruit

in the pan ready for jamming, after soaking for at least 12 hours 

I love my 9 litre Mad Millie preserving pan.  Perfect for making jams and chutneys.  You can use any large pot of course, but this one stays cool to the touch for ages.  If you are going to make a lot of preserves, I recommend getting a large pan like this.  (Not being paid to say this folks.  I just love it a lot.)

beautiful purple gin made with butterfly pea flowers  

This gin is so pretty.  And it turns a lovely pink when you add tonic, BTW.  Add 1/4 cup to the jam, or if you want it a bit more boozy, add half a cup.   

so what if there are some pips? :=)

Well, this was a hit with Mr P. and me!  And I'm not usually a huge jam fan.  This is an incredibly easy recipe compared to other jams I have made, so give it a go.  So nice to use organic, home grown fruit if you can get it.

thick golden chunky jam/marmalade 

my cumquat doodle


  1. I made cumquat chutney, but spent ages taking out the pips - there were millions of the little buggers.
    Might give cumquat marmalade a go next year.

    1. This is such an easy version. To hell with the pips I say:)).

  2. This is the bestest jam ever. I cannot stop eating it!

  3. and to add more confusion, in america the fruit that we call kumquats look completely different (they're really small and more oblong in shape), and these look more like clementines/tangerines! anyways, this sounds so tasty and tart and like a perfect jam/marmalade (:

    1. Hi heather
      Yes I noticed photos of them that looked tear drop shaped rather than round like ours. Ours are tiny too :)

  4. I love the idea of adding gin to the jam! I'm going to do that next time. I squeeze the pips out into a colander over a bowl to collect the juice. Then I stick the squeezed juice into the processor and whiz them up. It's always going to be a bit of a palaver when you handle small fruit.

    1. hi marcellina
      it's actually not too bad doing it this way. pips are just to be ignored mostly:=) leave them in or out; stick some in a bag, whatever! whatever happens, you actually add the pips in that have been pulverised? does it change the flavour at all?

  5. Such a gorgeous idea with all the cumquats that people seem to have at this time of the year. Love the pic of the spoonful lifted from the jar!

    1. thanks lorraine. cumquats are such cute little devils aren't they?

  6. Ooohhh I'm going to add the grog next time I make mine!

    1. Hi Jem
      A friend adds Grand Marnier to hers. Delish!


I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comment and I will reply as soon as I can. If you have problems commenting, please try without your WordPress profile. You can try Anonymous (add your name in the text) or your Google account if you have one.