Kumquat preserve

I saw a bag of these gems at my local supermarket, and couldn't say no to them. I'd never eaten a kumquat before, and had no idea what they tasted like, but they were so beautiful I just knew I had to do something with them (I currently feel the same way about fresh, baby beetroot, which has also been staring at me from the vegetable aisle, so watch this space...).

Kumquats are a citrus fruit, with soft, edible skin and native to southeastern Asia, and more precisely to China. A ripe kumquat is yellowy-orange all over, with no tinge of green left.

After some inspirational Googling, I decided the best way for me to use these would be to preserve them - that way, when I'm in need of some sunshine-yellow happiness, they will be right at hand (we're in the middle of winter in Cape Town, so I'm sure I'll be using them soon!). This recipe is being entered into Lavender and Lime's Regional and Seasonal Challenge - I can't think of anything better to help with the rainy day blues, than this little jar of sunshine!

This was also my first time making a preserve / jam so I was a little worried about that, as I don't have a sugar thermometer. I learned that the basic ratio would be 1 part sugar / 1 part fruit / 1 part water and then a dash of vanilla if you choose. I also learned that it is very possible to make your own preserve without a thermometer - you just need a keen eye and to trust your instincts.
Kumquat Preserve
Makes 500ml

200g kumquats - rinsed, tops and ends cut off, and cut into thick slices
200g white sugar
200ml water
a dash of vanilla or lemon, if you choose

Place your sugar, water and lemon in a saucepan over a high heat, and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Then add your kumquats (and any remaining juice you've managed to salvage while cutting them). Cook this mixture for about 20-25 minutes - stirring occasionally. You will see that the kumquats become a slightly darker orange, and a little translucent. You will also notice that your syrup starts to thicken, and the bubbles on top become a bit larger. Now would be the time to take it off the heat. Don't worry if it looks a bit thin at this stage - it will thicken considerably once cooled. Rather err on the side of too runny - if you cook it too much you might end up with a solid block of caramel at the end of it!

Simply pour the hot preserve into a glass jar with a tightly sealed lid, allow to cool to room temperature, and store in the fridge. After about a day in the fridge it would have reached the perfect gooey consistency. I'm thinking of using mine with a plain, sweet vanilla mousse...


Post a Comment


Meet the author

Google analytics

On Twitter : @AGorgeousLifeSA

On Instagram : @agorgeouslife