Chardonnay Kumquat Marmalade

From a distance, it may seem like I really love me some kumquats.  I mean, kumquats are tiny little fruit and I’ve already posted many recipes about them…but, while I do enjoy kumquats I do not luuurrrrvvvvvvveeeeee kumquats.  Let me tell you a little story about this batch. 
This batch of kumquats was the “original” batch of kumquats that I ordered.  I ordered them through a certain online distribution company (not a farm) and when I received an email back confirming my order I was extremely excited, “Kumquats!  I will finally get kumquats!”.  So I anxiously waited and waited…and waited…and waited.  After the first week and a half I tried to send an email to the distribution company to ask when my fruit would be delivered.  The email was bounced back as not deliverable.  Hm.
oh sweet kumquats, you have been on quite an adventure!
I thought that was odd, so then I tried to contact them through their online chat application.  I waited and waited while the chat application tried to contact a customer service representative.  After 30 minutes and no communication, I closed the chat.  Hm. 

I picked up the phone.  I called their customer service number and it was busy.  I tried to call again.  It was busy.  Hm. 
Apparently I had been had by fraudsters!  “BAH!  I WANT MY KUMQUATS,” I yelled as I shaked my fist in the air.
I call my bank to tell them that this particular website was a fraudulent website.  Well, because the automatically generated email from my order did not specify a date when the product would be delivered, by law, I have to give the company 30 days to deliver my product.  I waited…and waited…and finally, I got tired of waiting and ordered my second batch of kumquats directly from a farm and received those within 5 days. 
Two weeks later, I recieve an automatically generated email from that distribution company informing me that my kumquats have been shipped.  I figured that it was a faux email to get my hopes up into thinking that a product was on it’s way.  Lo-and-behold, 3 days later I had a neat little package at my doorstep.  The kumquats!  THOSE BASTARDS!  So, I gave them a good washing and turned them into Chardonnay Kumquat marmalade!
This marmalade is broken down into 2 days.  First I cut them in half and then thinly sliced them.  I kept one pile of the kumquat fruit and kept one pile of the seeds.  I sliced 4 cups of fruit.
Place 4 cups of fruit in a medium sized pot and add 2 cups of chardonnay and cover.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat.  Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.  Do this two more times for a total of three times.  Let cool and then place in the fridge overnight.  Ensure that you are stirring constantly, you do not want to burn the fruit.
Put the seeds in half a cup of water and place that in the fridge overnight.  The seeds have all the pectin and when you soak the seeds in water overnight, the pectin will leach out of the seeds and into the water.

The next day, over the pot of kumquat syrup, pour the seeds and water into fine cheesecloth and tie it up.  Place this in the pot.  At this point, using your best judgement, if the syrup looks too thick go ahead and add water and/or chardonnay to loosen it up.  Add 2 cups sugar, bring to a boil, lower to simmer, and cook until the thermometer reaches 220.  

Process in BWB for 10 minutes.  Yield should be about 3 half pints.

Chardonnay Kumquat Marmalade
Yield:  3 half pints
4 cups kumquats, half and thinly sliced
2 cups chardonnay
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
  1. Half and thinly slice kumquats until you have 4 cups of sliced fruit.  While slicing the fruit, be sure to reserve the seeds.
  2. Place fruit in a medium sized pot with 2 cups of chardonnay.  Cover, bring to a boil, simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.  Take off the heat and let rest for 10-15 minutes.  Repeat this 2 more times for a total of 3 times.  Let cool and place in the fridge to rest overnight.
  3. Place the seeds in 1/2 cup of water and place in the fridge to rest overnight.
  4. When you are ready to finish the marmalade, over the pot pour the seeds into a fine cheesecloth and place in the kumquat syrup.  At this point, you may need to add more water or chardonnay to the syrup if it’s too viscous.  I had to add about a cup of water.  Use your best judgement.
  5. Add 2 cups of sugar.
  6. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until your thermometer reaches 220.
  7. Following Kitchen Tactics:  Boiling Water Bath Canning, prepare 3 half pints and process for 10 minutes.

Preserved Kumquats

In “Canning for a New Generation”, Liana Krissoff has a recipe for a drink called the Kumquat Knickerbocker.  I have been pining for this drink since I bought the book and I finally bit the bullet.  Being a fan of kumquats, I decided to go all in and order 5 pounds from Beck Grove.  This recipe is a sweet preserve, preserving the kumquats in sugar.  the method is fairly easy as you keep the kumquats whole, only cutting two small slits in each.  This is my first year preserving kumquats, so it shall be interesting to see how the preserved kumquats come out. and how I decide to incorporate them into my recipes.  My mind is already churning on how to use these little guys and not just for my liquor cabinet!  I’m thinking pork, duck, lamb, chicken, and even venison! 

Preserved Kumquats

From Canning for a New Generation

Yield:  4 half pint jars

1.5 pounds Kumquats
2 cups sugar
3 cups water

  1. Prep work area per “Kitchen Tactics:  Boiling Water Bath Canning”
  2. With a paring knife, cut off the blossom end and slice two slits in each kumquat.  Place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, boil for 5 minutes, then drain.  Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 times.
  3. In a large pot combine 3 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar, bring to a boil, and stir to dissolve the sugar. 
  4. Add the kumquats and return to a boil.  Skim off any foam, lower heat, and simmer until kumquats are translucent and glossy and the syrup is thick and reduced until it just covers the kumquats, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, stir to distribute the fruit, and ladle the hot kumquats and syrup into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  6. Process for 10 minutes. 
Mmmmm, can’t wait to try that drink!

Grapefruit in Minty Syrup

My friends at Pearson Ranch California Oranges helped me out again.  Right now they have a combo citrus pack with 10 pounds Oros Blancos and 8 pounds Pomelos.

The other “grapefruit” are Pomelos

Oros Blancos are the smaller grapefruit.  They are a very light yellow and their fruit is a golden color.  They are much sweeter and not as tart nor as sour as Ruby Red or Pink Grapefruit.  They are a lovely mild grapefruit that is sweet at the front on your tongue but mildly tart once it hits the back.  These would be a great grapefruit for those of you that do not enjoy the brash tartness of the Ruby Reds.

I wanted to can enough to last me a year or more, so I ended up canning all ten pounds of Oros Blancos in heavy mint syrup.

First you want to fill your canning pot with water and add the specific number of 1/2 pint jars to the pot (I needed 8).  You will need to sterilize the jars first because these segments will only be in the BWB for 5 minutes.

While your canning pot is coming to a boil, you will want to wash and scrub your grapefruit.  Remember the post I did about segmenting citrus?  Well, we are going to do that.  To all 10 pounds (yes, you can start cursing at me now.  Ok, ok, I won’t make you do 10 pounds, I’ll just make you do 5).

Once you segment all the fruit, you’ll have a bowl full of lovely grapefruit segments!

Try not to eat them all before you can them!

Next you are going to make your heavy minty syrup (the syrup you make for this doesn’t have to be heavy.  That’s the beauty of canning yourself, you can make the syrup however you want).  The original recipe called for fresh mint but since it’s winter, I used dried mint; 2 tablespoons in a cheesecloth spice bag.  Holding the fruit back, tip the bowl over into a 4 cup measuring cup to pour out all the grapefruit juice.  Fill the water until you have 4 cups of liquid.  Pour this grapefruit juice/water mixture into a medium saucepan and add 2 cups of sugar to your mint.  Bring the syrup to a boil, cover, and simmer until you get the minty taste you want; I simmered it for about 20-25 minutes.  If your jars have not sterilized by this time, take the mint spice bag out of the syrup and toss it, then keep the syrup simmering until you are ready to can.

Now that your jars are sterilized, place your 1/2 pint jars on a placemat or towel.  Working quickly fill the hot jars with your grapefruit segments leaving about a 1/2 inch head space.  Then ladle your simmering syrup into the jars up to about 1/4 inch head space.

As you can see, I ended up with a yield of (7) 1/2 pints of grapefruit and (1) 1/2 pint of minty syrup and then some extra that I’m not canning.  I will can the 1/2 pint and place it in my liquor cabinet.  There are plenty of drinks we can make with the minty syrup!  Stay tuned!

Run a chopstick around the fruit to release air bubbles, wipe the rims with a damp paper towel, top with lid and ring, and place in your BWB.  Once the pot starts to boil, start your time for 5 minutes.  After the 5 minutes are up, turn off the heat, and let the jars sit in the pot for 5 minutes.  Place on a place mat or towel on your counter.  After an hour check the seals, if they have not sealed, place in the fridge and eat within the next two weeks.  If they have successfully sealed, let them sit undisturbed overnight.  Take off ring, wipe down with a damp towl, label, and place in a dark cabinet until ready to eat.

DO NOT THROW OUT THE EXTRA MINT SYRUP THAT WASN’T CANNED!!!  Bottle it and put it in the fridge!  We will revisit the mint syrup later!

Grapefruit in Minty Syrup

Adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff

Yield:  4 half pints

5 Pounds grapefruit
1 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons dried mint placed in cheesecloth spice bag

  1. Sterilize your jars and keep them hot in the canning pot.  Follow BWB canning procedure as per “Kitchen Tactics:  Boiling Water Bath Canning”
  2. Segment your grapefruit per “Kitchen Tactics:  Segmenting Citrus”
  3. Holding your grapefruit segments back, pour the collected juice into a 2 cup measuring cup.
  4. Add enough water to make 2 cups liquid.
  5. Pour into a medium saucepan and add 1 cup sugar and mint spice bag.
  6. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Lower heat and simmer until you get the minty flavor you desire.  Fish out the spice bag.
  7. Working quickly, fill sterilized jars with grapefruit segments leaving 1/2 inch head space
  8. Ladle the boiling syrup over the segments leaving a 1/4 inch head space.
  9. Use a chopstick to remove air bubbles, wipe rim with a damp towel, put the lid and ring on the jar, and place jar in your canning pot.  Ensure that you have at least 1 inch of water covering the jars.
  10. Process for 5 minutes.  Shut off heat and let the jar sit in the hot water for 5 minutes.
  11. Check seals after one hour; if they have sealed, place in fridge immediately.  Label sealed jars and store.

Candied Lemons

Remember when I told you to keep the lemon peel from the lemons we juiced for the canned lemonade concentrate?  Well, wait until you try these homemade candies!  Making homemade candies makes my heart sing with joy and candied lemons are fantastic.  There is just so much you can do with them and I plan on posting recipes in the future. 

Take the peel from 10 juiced lemons, remove the pulp of the lemon, and pick out any rough pith.  If the skins are really thick, you may have to cut off some of the pith.


Now, slice the peel into long strips.  Place the peel in a large pot and fill with cold water.  Put on the stove and place on high, bring to a boil, and boil for 20 minutes.  Drain in a colander.  Repeat this process 2 more times for a total of 3 times.  The last time you drain, dry the pot, then put in 6 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water.  Bring this up to a boil and when the sugar just starts to brown add the lemons.  Simmer the lemons in the sugar until the lemon peel turns translucent.

Place silpat or wax paper on two cookie trays and layer the trays with sugar.  Once the candied lemons are ready, using a fork scoop out the peel and layer them on the cookie trays in a single layer and try to make it so they don’t touch.  Sprinkle them with sugar to cover.  Let them dry overnight.

Once they are dry, store in quart jars with the sugar they dried in.

You can eat them like this, wrap them in cellophane and give them as gifts, or my favorite:  dip one side in dark chocolate.  Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

Candied Lemons

Yield:  2 Quarts

Peel from 10 lemons
6 cups sugar
3 cups water

  1. Remove the skin of the lemon and remove as much pith as possible.  Cut the peel into strips.
  2. Put lemon peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat then drain in a colander.  Repeat this process 2 more times for a total of 3 times.  Drain lemons in a colander
  3. Whisk the sugar with water.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (if you took the temperature of the sugar with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230-234).
  4. Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer.
  5. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes.   Resist the urge to stir the peels as it will introduce crystals into the syrup.  If necessary, swirl the pan around to move the peels around.
  6. Remove peels with a fork and place on a sugar covered cookie sheet lined with a silpat or wax paper.  Sprinkle the lemons with sugar.  Let them dry overnight.
  7. Store them in their sugar.

Canned Lemonade Concentrate

Folks, I pulled out the big gun:

The dehydrator holds all the citrus peel!

The love of my life, my Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer and her attachment, the citrus juicer.  I love lemonade and last year I made a limited number of canned lemonade concentrate.  I did not make enough and I ran out halfway through the year.  Booooooo.  This year, I was determined to make enough lemonade concentrate to last the whole year.

So, we had the 15 zested lemons from the limoncello and the 15 zested lemons from the dried peel, cut those lemons in half and juice them.  Then cut in half and juice more lemons to equal 9 cups of lemon juice (DO NOT THROW AWAY THE PEEL!  WE ARE GOING TO MAKE SOMETHING WITH THEM!).

Mmmmmm, Lemonade…

Canned Lemonade Concentrate

Yield:  8 pints

9 cups of fresh Lemon Juice
5 cups of water
4 cups of sugar

  1. Prepare jars, lids/rings, and canning equipment per “Kitchen Tactics: Boiling Water Bath Canning”
  2. Place lemon juice in a large stock pot.  Add 5 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar.  Bring to a low boil then turn down the heat and simmer.
  3. Ladle the hot concentrate into 8 hot pints leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  4. Process via BWB for 15 minutes.
  5. To make lemonade, dilute one pint of lemonade concentrate with however many pints of water to suit your taste.