Quick and Easy Kumquat Jam
This week I set out to make homemade fig jam to use on flatbreads I’m planning on making for a girls’ night this weekend. However, as my clever boyfriend pointed out, figs aren’t in season so A) I’m not likely going to find fresh ones at Whole Foods, and B) as a food blogger, shouldn’t I showcase foods that are season-appropriate? What can I say, my man is often correct! So, being put slightly on the spot in the produce aisle, I grabbed some kumquats. I’ve never cooked with these small orange gems before, and I assumed a jam recipe for them would be similar to any other, right? Fruit + sugar + heat. Not so, as I shortly discovered upon searching for a recipe. Most jam recipes I came across were very time consuming, instructing you to remove each kumquat’s white pith, and let them sit overnight to macerate in the sugar. Ooof, I thought, what did I sign myself up for on a Tuesday evening? There must be a shortcut!
Alas, there was. On my trusty epicurious.com I found a recipe that only had you macerate the fruit for 15 minutes and did not involve a cheesecloth. As I began slicing my kumquats, Scott (there he goes again!) also pointed out that I shouldn’t bother removing each pith because if you can eat a whole kumquat skin and all, why should you have to dissect it in order to cook it down? So I took his advice, modified the recipe a bit to accommodate for possible bitterness (more sugar + 1 orange), and added some spices to give it my own unique spin. I also decided, since I’m spreading this on a flatbread, to give it a quick whirl with the immersion blender at the very end so my guests aren’t chewing on kumquat rinds. All in all, I’m very happy with how this turned out!
- 2 Cups kumquats, quartered lengthwise
- 3/4 Cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground hot red chili powder
- 1/2 Cup water
Place kumquats, sugar and spices in a nonreactive saucepan and stir to combine. Let sit and macerate for at least 15 minutes. Add water and cook over medium heat until the liquid thickens, about 15-20 minutes (it will thicken more once it cools). Use a food processor or immersion blender to quickly chop the fruit to the desired texture. I like the texture of a traditional marmalade, smooth for the most part but with some remaining rind for texture. Place into airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.
Enjoy on toast, english muffin, or stay tuned for my flatbread recipe!