My marmalade was an accident. Let me explain...
We have had a major gardening renaissance at our house. After being away for a year and leaving our backyard veggies in the hands of a very kind, but non-gardening Finnish couple, we had some serious work to do. Our fence fell over, everything went to seed, and in many ways we had to simply start over.
Actually, the blank slate has been fun - there is something so soothing and simple about digging in the dirt. We recently planted a Pink Pearl Apple, Seckel Pear and a Blenheim Apricot to espalier along our sunny (rebuilt) fence. Arugula, broccoli raab, Japanese onions and favas are also taking root. Woo hoo!
When we were picking up supplies at Berkeley Hort the other day, I fell for a kumquat. It was sitting there calling out to me with cascades of adorable miniature fruit and lush green leaves. When I asked one of the gardeners about this little tree, she told me that kumquats are known to bring good luck and prosperity - I was sold.
To honor our newest little tree, I wanted to cook up something to share with you. I planned on making candied kumquats. Without a recipe and winging it in my typical fashion, I had marmalade before I knew it. It was really good and just as a marmalade should be - tangy and thick.
Do you guys eat kumquats? How do you use them? I love that the little citrus gems can be eaten whole. And, I often slice them up and toss them in salads or just pop one in my mouth for a puckery bite.
Note: If you don't have access to kumquats, feel free to use orange peels for your marmalade.
HONEY-CITRUS MARMALADE makes one small jar of preserves
- 18 kumquats (or substitute 1 cup sliced orange peel, with as much pith removed as possible)
- 2/3 cup honey ( if you like your marmalade a little sweeter go ahead and add another 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup water
Thinly slice kumquats and remove seeds.
Place honey and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium flame, stirring occasionally, until the honey has dissolved.
Add the sliced kumquats to the pan. Simmer uncovered and maintain a gentle bubbling for 30-35 minutes. When the mixture of fruit, honey, and water has thickened up, you're all done.
Remove pan from heat, let cool, then scoop marmalade into a little jar. Go ahead and feed yourself a few generous scoops of marmalade on crackers with butter.