A couple of years ago, we planted a bare-rooted cumquat fruit tree. The tree has been plagued with citrus leafminer moths ever since. These little blighters love nothing better than laying their eggs on the leaves of the tree. Today my stunted plant resembles a large bonsai tree. As a reward for spraying the leaves throughout summer and autumn with white oil, in a vain attempt to discourage the insects, I have been given a small bounty of delicious organic citrus fruit.
These delicious, sweet, yet tangy fruits can be enjoyed whole, poached, tossed in green or fruit salads or made into a delectable jam. Once bottled, Homemade Organic Cumquat Jam makes a scrummy gift idea for him, for her, for mum, for dad but most especially, for the cook.
My original recipe for Homemade Organic Cumquat Jam required 1 kilogram of cumquats but as mentioned, I only had a small amount, which diminished even further when my Year 6 child became partial to the sweet flavour. By the time I pulled out my jam pot, I was left with around 600 grams of fruit. Fortunately, the recipe can be easily converted to the amount left, after the children and the birds have finished pilfering the prettiest ones.
Homemade Organic Cumquat Jam can be a little time-consuming to make but the result is certainly worth the effort. With sweet, sticky rind pieces, this jam is perfect smothered on hot buttered toast or freshly baked scones.
My recipe made two jars but one was attacked before I managed to take a photo.
So this is how to make, my moderately easy, Homemade Organic Cumquat Jam…
1 kg cumquats (washed)
1 km white sugar
1 litre water
- Cut your cumquats in half and prise out the seeds. Keep the seeds aside. (This is a good job for the Year 6 child).
- Slice the cumquats as thin as possible and place in a large pot.
- Wrap the seeds in a piece of muslin cloth and tie with kitchen string, leaving one length long enough to be tied onto the handle of the pot. (The cloth can then be easily pulled out later).
- Add the water and bring to a rapid simmer.
- Once the rind is soft, which can take between 25 minutes to an hour, squeeze out the excess juice in the seed parcel (with a spoon pressed against the side of the pot) and discard.
- Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Pop a saucer into the freezer (to test if the jam is ready later).
- Bring to the boil and simmer for ½ hour. Place your clean glass jars into the oven now to get sterilised.
- Test if your jam has reached setting point by placing a teaspoon of jam on to the freezer-chilled plate. Run a finger through the middle. If the finger makes a nice, clean ‘path’ in the jam, it’s ready. Or you can buy a sugar thermometer and take your jam off the heat when the temperature reaches 105C.
- Once ready, turn off the heat and let your jam settle for 5 minutes. Take the glass jars out of the oven too. Make sure you remove any scum that has collected around the pot with a clean spoon.
- Spoon your jam into the glass jars.
- Secure with a lid and allow to cool.
- Store jam in a cool dark place for up to 12 months or refrigerate after opening.