Cumquat jam is incredibly easy to make because you don’t have to chop the peels or try to remove hundreds of tiny pips. The end result will be an intensely flavoured citrus jam that’s amazing on hot buttered toast.
1 kg cumquats
caster sugar, as required
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Straining time: 3-4 hours
Cut the cumquats in half and place them in a saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the fruit for 2 hours. Regularly skim off the froth as it comes to the surface.
Allow the liquid and fruit to cool slightly, then ladle it into a cloth-lined colander or sieve. A large clean tea towel is fine, or muslin is good if you have it. Allow the liquid to drip through into a large bowl.
When the dripping begins to slow, gather the edges of the cloth together and tie with string. Hang the cloth in an elevated position and allow the remaining liquid to drip through for a few hours, or overnight if time permits.
Measure the cumquat liquid into a saucepan and add equal caster sugar to the liquid. For example, you would add 500 g sugar if you had 500 ml liquid.
Return the liquid and sugar to the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and regularly skim off froth as it comes to the surface. Cook until it achieves a syrupy consistency, stirring frequently.
To see if the jam has reached setting point, place a teaspoon of the mixture onto a chilled plate. Tip the plate; if the jam runs, cook for a further 5 minutes, then try again. Pour into sterilised jars while still hot.
Makes 750 ml–1 litre (3–4 cups).
Image by nevena kukoljac via Flickr.