Friday, 28 December 2012
I found some Kumquats for sale in Waitrose just before Christmas. Unusual fruit interest me, and not having tasted these for a few years, bought some.
I used some as the basis of my cranberry relish with the addition of a few spices and port to give an aromatic relish to accompany the Christmas Roast Turkey, goose, or ham. The few spare jars I made went as gifts to friends who appreciate my preserves.
To eat one of these tiny orange looking fruits is a taste experience...the skin is sweet but the juice astringent and bitter, and leaves the most marvellous clean taste in the mouth for over 10 minutes....maybe I ought to have kept a few back to act as a palate cleanser during the Christmas feasting.
All the fruit was cut in half to expose the membranes and pips to the liquor so that the pectin could be absorbed into the juices, and then softened in the pressure cooker first with a little fresh orange juice, and three whole crushed cardamom pods. After cooling I removed the insides, cut up the skins finely, sieved the pulp back into the pan, and added the sugar. After the customary boiling, I had these very small jars.....must be the most expensive marmalade I've ever made.....
It tastes quite exotic, with the cardamom adding a warm background note and was delicious served on our pumpkin bread. I shall use this precious preserve for baking and adding accent notes to cakes etc.