I have never eaten nor made cumquat jam. While I was at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) I was told that the skin of these tiny citrus fruits contains the sweetness not the fruit. Intriguing. Another volunteer had made a pot of very tasty jam from last week’s pickings and I was inspired. Hundreds of the fruit were on offer so, as I left the Gardens, I took just a few – over three quarters of a kilo of cumquats. This didn’t make a dent in the large volume picked.First I cut off the stalks.Then I quartered each and removed the pips.Recipes indicate the pips should be kept, held in a muslin bag and then immersed in the pot while the fruit boils. I didn’t do this – I didn’t have a muslin bag (you may remember my muslin bag is holding the salted olives downstairs) and I hoped that the fruit and its peel would contain sufficient pectin for the jam to set.
The fruit went into the pot.I added almost a kilo of raw sugar and brought the mixture to the boil. I occurred to me that a lemon might provide pectin so I picked one from my new Meyer Lemon tree, cut it in half and immersed it into the pot of cooking cumquats.When the jam had almost reached setting point, I removed the lemon pieces, blended the mixture, then reheated and simmered the liquid for a short while until the jam had reached setting point. Tasty. Very sweet in comparison to my recent production of bitter orange and grapefruit marmalade. Since I seldom eat sweet foods I cannot judge whether this is too sweet so I am waiting for neighbours to pop in and taste and give their verdict.
That quantity of cumquats made 4 and a half small jars of jam.
This cumquat jam glows with something of its natural original colours. Beautiful. I will definitely take a few pots to give to fellow RTBG volunteers next week; to share the bounty of our harvests.