Cumquat mmmmmarmalade

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You know how you always want what you can’t have and then you obsess over it?

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Well that’s me with other people’s veggie gardens.  Even if it’s just a solitary lemon tree dripping with lemons, I’m going gaga over it and dropping not so subtle hints how much I use lemons and there’s nothing like eating something that’s been picked minutes before, etc etc in the hope that I walk away with a little sumthin’ sumthin’.

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I think my obsession stems from the fact that for the past 5 years we’ve lived in our house, we’ve barely been able to keep a herb plant alive due to the fact that the scant garden that we do have doesn’t get any sun – ugh I’m so sick of our dark house!

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However I can now proudly say that this situation has changed a smidge over the last few weeks when I discovered that the only piece of sun we do get hits the back wall of our house, cha-ching-opportunity! so we now have a vertical herb garden and it’s been about a month in and they’re still alive, whoop!

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This doesn’t mean if I’m around at your place and you have a healthy veggie garden or fruit tree hanging about, I’m not going to do a little nudge nudge wink wink.  How do you think I got these cumquats?

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Cumquat marmaladeOnline Generator Little alchemist Gems

I’ve used Stephanie Alexander’s recipe for the marmalade and I found it to be the perfect balance between sweetness with a touch of bitterness that you expect from a marmalade.

what you need:

  • 2kg cumquats
  • sugar

what to do:

Clean the fruit of any stems and quarter or slice the cumquats, extracting the pips as you go along. Reserve the pips.

Tie up the pips in a piece of muslin and pop the cumquats and pips into a non-reactive dish and just cover with cold water.  Leave it overnight.

The next day, measure the fruit and water into cups, you will need one cup of sugar for every cup of fruit.  Pop a small saucer into the freezer.

Cook the fruit in the liquid with the pips until the cumquats are tender.  Then add the sugar to the fruit.  Make sure you wait until the fruit is tender before adding sugar as once you add the sugar the skins will not soften any further no matter how long you cook them.

Bring to a rapid boil until the marmalade reaches the setting stage which will take about 25 minutes.  How do you test if the marmalade is ready? After the 25 mins, turn off the heat and let the bubbles subside, grab the saucer from the freezer and place a small dollop and allow to cool for a minute and then push your finger through the marmalade.  If it the marmalade crinkles then it’s done.  If it doesn’t, then pop the marmalade back onto to the heat and boil for another couple of minutes before testing again.

Once your marmalade has reached setting point, leave to cool until a skin starts to form on the top, then gently stir the marmalade to evenly distribute the fruit through the marmalade.

Toss out the pips and bottle the marmalade into hot, sterilised jars and seal while hot.

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