Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Calamondin & Cointreau Marmalade

There's another large jar which is just for us, so I didn't put a pretty label on it
August 2012
Paul's calamondin bonsai is doing well. No longer the skinny little shrub it was in 2010, or even the larger but fairly shapeless bush it was by summer 2012.

It's now very large and very pretty. And apparently unphotographed since summer 2012.

It's also extremely productive.

As an indoor plant, it'll flower and fruit all year round, so I've been progressively harvesting and freezing the fruit as it ripens, stockpiling enough to make a batch of marmalade.

Last week it occurred to me to weigh the bag of fruit in the freezer. 1.4kg. Plenty for marmalade.

Because the fruit had been frozen, I decided that I could skip the steps of either pre-cooking the fruit before slicing it, or soaking it in water overnight. I just thawed it overnight, halved the fruit and scooped out the flesh and seeds with a teaspoon.
Thawed calamondins - the biggest are about 2" across
Then I thinly sliced the peel (MUCH easier than doing it with Seville oranges), squeezed as much juice from the flesh and seeds as I could into the pot and added some water. The bowl the fruit had thawed in had collected some liquid - it was a rich green colour and had a really strong smell of the citrus essential oils from the peel, so that went in as well.
An equal weight of sugar, a rapid boil and a little rest, then I stirred in some Cointreau and potted the marmalade. This is not a marmalade for the lovers of Cooper's Vintage Oxford Marmalade. It is light and fresh with a delicately jellied texture and a fine peel. Paul has suggested that we have croissants for breakfast for the next 3 months in order to enjoy it at its best. Not a bad idea at all.

Calamondin and Cointreau Marmalade (makes about 2kg marmalade)

1kg calamondins, frozen
2kg-ish jam sugar (as I understand it, calamondins don't have the pectin of regular oranges so I used jam sugar to be on the safe side and I think it was the right decision!)
3tbs cointreau or triple sec

Start the night before.

Take the calamondins out of the freezer and place in a bowl to thaw.

The following morning weigh your preserving saucepan and write the number down somewhere obvious.

Halve the fruit, scraping out the flesh and seeds with a teaspoon and reserve it.

Slice the peel finely and put it into the preserving saucepan. At the bottom of the bowl the fruit thawed in, there will be some liquid. Pour it into a measuring jug and make the quantity up to 1 litre with water (I had a bit over 80mls), and add the liquid to the saucepan.

Mash the reserved pulp and seeds thoroughly, then strain into the saucepan, pressing out as much juice as possible.

Weigh the saucepan again, deducting the number you wrote down earlier to find the weight of peel and juice. Personally I find it easier and less messy than trying to measure the amount you have. Add that amount of jam sugar to the pan.

Bring gently to the boil, ensuring that the sugar is all dissolved, then boil rapidly for about 30 minutes, until it reaches 106C on a jam thermometer, then test for a set. Don't leave it alone, you'd be amazed how high jam can boil up, even in a massive saucepan.

Once it has gelled nicely, allow to sit for 10 minutes, then stir in the cointreau and pot into sterilised jars and seal.


9 comments:

Joanne said...

I've never heard of calamondins!! The marmalade sounds lovely though!

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

This looks great! It's difficult to find calamondin here in the markets. How lovely that you have a bonsai!

Rachel said...

A very inspirational post! How does one obtain a calamondin plant? Did you grow it from seed?

Alicia Foodycat said...

Joanne - apparently they are pretty common in Florida!

Leafy - we have loads of bonsai. It's Paul's thing!

Rachel - thank you! We didn't grow it from seed, the nurseries over here always seem to have them in the indoor plants section!

wildtomato said...

What a beautiful marmalade! I love the little jars with the cloth tops. My mom used to present jams that way.

Angie Schneider said...

Your calamondin jam looks so perfectly gelled and fantastic, Alicia.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Wildtomato - the lid covers are actually printed paper. They were in a labelling kit I was given for Christmas.

Angie - it is so good! I'm having bread and marmalade for breakfast.

grace said...

you are SO savvy! i love that you have so many projects going on! i hope i can have my very own fruit-bearing shrubs and/or trees someday. :)

tamarindandthyme said...

I am totally getting a calamondin tree when I move.

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