Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kumquat. Come again?

These are kumquats.

I don't remember why I bought a kumquat tree. I'd almost rather be rid of it at this point, as I don't actually care that much for the fruit. But my little girl loooves to eat them every spring. Only a few dozen of them, but still, she would sob and wail if I cut it down. And I am a sucker for my little girl when plants are involved. So it stays. And produces lots of kumquats.

In my neverending effort to do something productive with what I have (time on my hands and, in this case, kumquats), I tried to make marmalade today.

I actually started yesterday. The recipes I found online all called for mincing and seeding the fruit, then letting the minced fruit stand in a bowl, barely covered in water overnight. I have no idea why one is supposed to do this, but I did it just to be compliant. The next day, you measure the fruit and water, add an equal volume of sugar, and boil the bejezus out of it. The pectin in the pith of citrus fruits is supposed to be sufficient to gel the mixture into a pleasantly spreadable confection.

I gathered enough kumquats to make a solid 2 quarts of mince-and-water mix. With sugar that came three quarts, which boiled down to 10 cups before it started gelling. Total boiling time was several hours. I suspect I should have boiled it a bit before adding the sugar. But, as is soooo often the case around here, there will be a next time.

Aroma- fantastic. Color- darker than I expected. Need less water next time so it doesn't take so long to boil it down. Flavor- sweet/sour with a bitter aftertaste. Is that how it is supposed to be? I added some to some frozen yogurt, and the kids enjoyed it. What other test matters?

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