I’ve been fortunate enough to find friends who like to share food as much as I do. So when one friend gave me some incredible maple syrup for Christmas, and some other friends gave me a bag of kumquats from their tree, I knew what had to be done. I love Florida to little bits, but occasionally I miss living up North, so making something that brings together the delicious citrus from my new home with the maple-y goodness of my old home seemed perfect. Normally when I make marmalades I cut out the pith and soak the rinds to help with the bitterness. These kumquats, however, were the sweetest kumquats I’ve ever consumed, meaning that I didn’t have to mess with any of that and could just get away with slicing, seeding, and sprinkling them with a little sugar. No peeling or removing membranes or anything, just thinly sliced kumquats. As a result, the recipe I have here is based on those incredible kumquats. If you don’t have access to freshly-picked citrus and are relying on the supermarket, or if your citrus is a little bitter, you may have to use more sugar or remove the piths (some alternate recipes for you to try can be found here and here).
The steps were simple: thinly slice a few kumquats, toss in a (nonreactive) bowl, sprinkle with a spoonful of sugar, repeat. Top with a little pinch of salt (might as well add this important flavor-boosting step now), and wait. Because my kumquats are so very, very sweet, they didn’t require much sweetening to be edible, but they *do* need sugar to be preserved properly. I also didn’t have to rely on cups and cups of granulated sugar here since I was using maple syrup later on. (An important note here: in these early stages, many other marmalade recipes will require you to extract the pectin from the bits you discard. If you like your marmalades really thick or are making a giant batch, do it. If you don’t, then you’ll probably be alright, just expect your marmalade to be a little loose).
Once the waiting is over (~12 hours), throw everything into a pot, add the maple syrup, and voila. I didn’t boil it for long, just long enough to get everything to the consistency I wanted. Let it cool a little, then eat it up. They say these things keep in the fridge for a month or two, but this will probably be gone by next week.
Kumquat and Maple Marmalade
1 quart fresh kumquats
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 c water
3/4 c dark amber maple syrup (in most stores, this really rich syrup is sold as Grade B–the stuff I had purported to be Grade A but was the richest and most decadent Grade A syrup I’ve ever encountered).
-Thinly slice your kumquats into little rounds, removing the seeds as you go.
-After you’ve sliced 4 or 5, throw them in the bottom in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with a little sugar.
-Continue layering fruit and sugar until you’ve sliced all the kumquats.
-Top with the salt.
-Let sit (covered) for about 12 hours.
-Pour the whole thing into a non-reactive pot and add the maple syrup and water.
-Heat over medium until it comes to a strong boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
-Let it cook to the desired consistency (for me this was about 15 minutes), then remove from the heat and let cool.
-Pour into jars and store in the fridge.
This recipe is on Punk Domestics!