Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekend Herb Blogging #44

Christa from Calendula & Concrete is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging. Today I'll be using a fruit with a bit of an identity crisis.

cumquats ©


They may look like a citrus and in fact they were at one stage considered as such but in 1915 they were reclassified as genus Fortunella. With their origins in China they generally have two forms - round and oval - these are the oval variety. They are Cumquats or Kumquats depending in which part of the world you are from. Size wise they average about an inch in length - whether or not you eat them, they just look cute!

They have a sweet peel but a tart flesh and contain loads of Vitamin C along with Vitamin A, Iron and Calcium. With these gorgeous little cumquats I'll be making a very simple chunky "marmalade" of sorts.

cumquat marmalade ©

Cumquat Marmalade

250 grams Cumquats
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla bean, split in half)
1 tablespoon Cointreau (or Orange Liqueur)

Wash the cumquats then place them in a pot of boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and let them sit in the pot until cool.

When cool, cut the cumquats in half lengthways.

Place the sugar, water and vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean) into a small pot and place over a medium heat - stirring until the sugar dissolves, then add the Cointreau. Stir again and add the halved cumquats. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to a simmer, stirring occasionally and allow to cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the cumquats have become translucent.

Allow to cool in the pan - you'll notice that I keep the seeds in this helps the mixture set.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge - this will keep a couple of weeks if you haven't eaten it already!

cumquat marmalade ©

You can use this in cakes, with ice-cream and yoghurt, on toast or one of my favourite ways as a topping on sweet bruschetta - I especially love it's vanilla speckled syrup, that is sweet but with that pleasant tang.

bruschetta with cumquat marmalade and ricotta

If you're not too sure about marmalade, then this is a good way to start.

20 comments:

  1. Very fun! I've never tasted these.

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  2. Thanks Kalyn - you don't see them too often but it's a smallish tree that does grow quite easily in tubs - that's if the possums and fruitbats don't eat them first!

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  3. What beautiful fruit and marmalade! I adore kumquat marmelade, and though I don't have access to the fruits myself, a co-worker thankfully provides me with a few jars of homemade every year ;)

    Must admit, theirs doesn't look half as good as yours!

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  4. Thanks Ellie - cumquat makes a nice change from orange marmalade.

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  5. Looks amazing! Finally a recipe worth trying!!

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  6. Thanks Meeta - I've got the opposite problem, way too many recipes to try out and more I need to repeat!

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  7. That's lovely!!! My mother loved kumquats, so I bought a kumquat tree and it was a delight. The flowers smell wonderful and we got quite a bit of fruit, I must say. However, it died and I haven't replaced it. I've thought about doing that and now you've convinced me to do that. Your photos are gorgoeus.

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  8. Thanks Sher - cumquats are wonderful trees and one worth having!

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  9. it must be the season because i made this just a week ago too! the recipes are almost identical but i didn't add any vanilla. must try that next time.

    i love to take the candied cumquats and dip them in dark chocolate. such a good after dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) treat!!!

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  10. Hi Anna - it certainly is the season for cumquats - think I'll have to do some chocolate dipped ones!

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  11. The pictures are as eye catching as the fruit-wonderful post Haalo!

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  12. Thanks so much Nandita!

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  13. Hi Haalo,
    My cumquat tree is absolutely full with fruit at the moment.
    I will definitely use your recipe to make some marmalade with them

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  14. Hi Cakebaker - how lucky to have cumquats, between the possums and the fruitbats, they seem to eat all our fruit. Do let me know how this turns out for you!

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  15. Haalo,
    Not to be deterred by my poor attempt at seville orange marmalade,
    I thought I'd use some cumquats from my tree to have a go at this recipe.
    Can I say it was so easy to follow your recipe and the result was just delicious.
    Next time I'll make a bigger batch:):)hufyqyl

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  16. Sorry to hear that the marmalade didn't turn out, if it's just a setting problem that can be remedied by adding lemon juice or pectin (you should be able to get pectin from supermarkets) and then just re-simmering the mixture until it finally reaches that setting point. The only thing you need to watch is not to overcook the sugar so it caramelises. I'm glad that at least you did enjoy the cumquat marmalade.

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  17. Not to worry Haalo, I picked up some pectin from the upermarket yesterday. I haven't given up yet...LOL actually I've got another batch in the fridge ready for cooking tomorrow.

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  18. I mean supermarket...I should go to bed...LOL

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  19. I have total confidence that the next batch will be perfect!

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  20. Hi,

    I'm hosting AFAM - kumquats this month, today is the last day and I would love to have this recipe as your entry.

    http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?p=2011

    Thank you, Margot

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