This recipe was so STUPID. SO STUPID, in fact, that it took me two tries to get it right, and I only got it right after ignoring all the previous instructions. So in fact I will not even link you to this stupid recipe that I used for fear of it tainting me with its idiocy. I take full credit for this, seeing as I had to fix it. MANY TIMES. What I present below is the CORRECT way to do it, and should produce about 4 pints of marmalade.
If you’ve never had a kumquat, you should try one. Sweet and bitter at the same time, it’s definitely an experience. I like to think of them as tasty breath-fresheners. Your first bite will be sweet, then as you crunch through the skin, the citrus oils will clear out your palette. Quite refreshing, actually.Make sure you pick kumquats that are firm and don’t have any squishy spots. Use them soon after you buy them because they go quickly.
Wash and remove the stems from 24 fresh kumquats.
Slice them thinly across the middle, and remove the seeds.
Make sure you keep the seeds.
This is where all the pectin-y goodness is.
There’s pectin in the pith as well, but not as much.
Slice 2 oranges across the middle as well.
I used Navel oranges. This seedless fruit is neat because it reproduces by growing a new orange in its belly button (or navel), which is that thing you see at the opposite end to the stem.
This orange reproduced another whole orange inside. How cool. I bet it would have been confusing to eat had I peeled it normally.
I found it was easier to can the marmalade if you make cuts in the orange peel so it breaks apart and is therefore smaller.
Toss the orange slices and the kumquat slices together in a measuring cup and see how much you have.
Chuck them in a large bowl and add 3 cups of water for every cup of fruit you measured. I had 5 cups of fruit so I added 15 cups of water. Leave that to sit overnight.
The next day, pour your fruit and water into a large saucepan (this is why I love our maslin pan so much). You may find some jelly-like stuff at the bottom of the bowl. I’m not sure what it is but I think it’s important, so scrape that stuff off and put it in the pan as well.
Bring the stuff in the pan to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer it until the rinds are very tender and you can squish them with your spoon.
Juice 2 lemons.
Pour that lemon juice, together with 9 cups granulated sugar, into the maslin pan.
Tie up your seeds in a bit of cheesecloth and add that to the pot as well.
Bring the mixture to a boil again, then simmer on low for a couple of hours.
The mixture will cook down, reducing in size, getting thicker and darker. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn, and keep stirring it. When it starts to foam, you are nearing your gel point.
You can tell if your mixture is ready to gel by putting a plate in the freezer for a few minutes. Remove the plate and drip some of the liquid across the plate. Once it has cooled, give it a push with your finger. If it wrinkles up, your marmalade is ready to go into the jar.
When you have reached the stage where your foamy marmalade goo is wrinkling on your cold plate, you can can it according to your canner’s instructions. Check out our tips here.