A little while back I shared my recipe for maple kumquat marmalade. We Floridians are rolling in fresh citrus this time of year, so my friends who gifted me the kumquats for that marmalade gifted me another gallon bag of them in exchange for using my canning pot. These kumquats were perfectly ripe and so tasty, and when you get citrus like that the best thing to do is make sure you are bringing out all those great flavors (instead of masking them behind other ingredients). Making this was such a fun experience: few things in the world beat taking the time to slow down and experience a perfectly fresh ingredient while it’s being prepared (my whole house smelled like fresh citrus, it was delightful). Adding fresh bay leaves to my citrus preserves is my new favorite way to bring in some exciting flavor elements that are subtle enough to let the main ingredient(s) shine. I canned 3 jars of this stuff this morning, so I’ll have plenty to last me once our citrus trees are done fruiting.
Simple Kumquat Marmalade
1 gallon (I’m guessing it was ~2-3 lbs worth) fresh kumquats
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 – 1 c sugar (depending on your tastes)
2 fresh bay leaves
1 c water
-Slice the kumquats in to little rounds, taking care to remove the seeds as you go.
-Place the sliced fruit in a nonreactive bowl and add half the sugar. Toss to coat the kumquats evenly.
-Let sit overnight to remove some of the bitterness from the fruit and start the preserving process.
-The next day, add the kumquats, the rest of the sugar, bay leaves, salt, and water to a pot and simmer until the water is absorbed (it will still be chunky, you just don’t want it to be soupy).
-Place in to canning jars and process in a hot water bath (or just keep it in the fridge).