6 pounds of "Nagami" Kumquats
Why do I love Kumquats so much?
Where do I start?
As some of you might know, I am obsessed with ORANGE. The color, the flavor, and the many types of citrus fruit in the orange family. I also like tiny versions of my favorite things. Miniature horses, bite-size candy bars and kumquats* all fill that bill.
I just received a shipment of fresh-picked kumquats from Florida, which the Pugs had to fully inspect immediately upon arrival. Seriously, there was quite of bit of whining & begging involved.
This is a 10 pound box of "Nagami" Kumquats from Kumquat Growers Inc. in Florida. ("Nagami" are the tart ones. The same company also had "Meiwa" available; they are the sweet variety.) You want the tart ones for recipes. They provide the bright acidity that pairs so well with the sweetness of the sugar.
Kumquats are one of those fruits that involve more prep than most others. It's a good thing I'm so enamored with them. Otherwise they might be way too much work!
2 pounds sliced and seeded...save the seeds for the preserving process!
I use fill-able tea bags for keeping the seeds together. Cooking the seeds with preserves helps to release their pectin. The natural pectin found in the seeds is a much-needed ingredient which helps to thicken marmalades, jellies and jams.
2 pounds of kumquat results in this many seeds...about 1/3 of a cup.
Add the bag full of seeds to the preserving pan and then poke it with a spoon so that it sinks.
I'm skipping a few steps in the recipe here because my next blog post will most likely be about making marmalade and I'll provide plenty of details in that blog, including what NOT to do, spoken from experience!
Using a canning funnel always makes filling jars about 10 times easier!
I'll tempt you with a little dab of Kumquat Marmalade & Cream Cheese on a cracker...
...the tart-sweet flavor of the marmalade is wonderful when paired with the rich, smooth qualities of cream cheese and the crispness of a cracker.
*Kumquats were originally considered to be part of the Citrus family, but in 1915, they were given their very own genus, Fortunella. So technically, even though they look like oranges, they're not actually citrus fruits.