Having made my first batch I couldn't wait to tuck in but I'd forgotten that citrus and I have not been getting along so well lately and one teaspoon of this jewel-like jam left me with an ulcerated tongue and skin that felt like it was on fire. I can't tell you how depressing that was...Maybe you'd like to make some and I'll live precariously through you?
1 kg cumquats
1 kg sugar
1 lemon (juice and peel)
1 litre of water
1. Slice the cumquats as finely as possible.
2. Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler then julienne the strips so you have nice thin strips of peel.
3. Place cumquats (seeds and all*), lemon peel, juice and water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until skins are tender.
4. Add sugar and stir to dissolve then bring to a rolling boil for about 25 minutes.
5. While jam is boiling sterilise your jars by washing them in hot soapy water and drying them in a low oven for about 30 minutes. Alternatively you can just put them through a hot cycle in the dishwasher. I never really know how much jam a recipe will make so I usually prepare 5-6 jars just in case.
6. Check whether or not your jam has reached setting point (to test, place a small blob of jam on a cold saucer. Once the jam has cooled a little it should wrinkle up if you push it with your finger). You need to be brave at this point. Don't let the jam boil for too long or it will become progressively darker and will set like a rock. If this does happens don't despair. As long as it is not burnt you can still use it. It will just be hard to spead on bread but will be lovely warmed up as a glaze for meats or a sauce for ice-cream, pancakes etc).
6. Take jam off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes or so to allow the fruit to distribute itself evenly. Skim off any foamy looking bits and lift out any seeds you see.
7. Pour the jam into sterilised jars making sure that there are no air bubbles. You can fill jars right to the top as the jam will shrink as it cools. Make sure you clean the inside and outside lip of jar with a hot cloth to remove any spilt jam.
8. Seal while jam is still hot, label and store in a cool, dark place for as long as you like!
* you can take all the seeds out, put them in a muslin bag then add the bag to the mixture but I find that they generally rise to the surface while the jam is cooling so I just skim them out then!)