R came back from a friend’s home (Hi, Andrew and Brian!!) on Saturday with a huge bag of kumquats he had picked from their tree. I love kumquats, but eating them raw gives me a stomachache and so I decided to try to make a real marmalade.
When I was in India this past spring I spent about a week at my grandparent’s house. I rarely have my grandparents all to myself, as my extended family often coordinates visits to India. I took advantage of this time to give them all the updates on my life which included telling my grandmother, or Ammush, about this little blog. Once I explained to her what a blog was, she loved the idea and would keep giving me different suggestions for recipes of hers that I could share. Her enthusiasm to share her recipes was so inspiring, and I admire her willingness to adapt to new ideas. Also isn’t she gorgeous? I hope aging gracefully is genetic!
One morning I found Ammush standing over her stove in her kitchen, peering at a little post it note every few minutes. I realized that my tiny (she is 4’10”) 79-year-old grandmother had gone on the internet (!) and found this recipe that she had then carefully copied onto a tiny post it for future reference. Her jams always turn out to be delicious and this was one was no different.
Luckily when I was in India I took a picture of Ammush’s recipe so that I can try to reproduce it here.
-Select 4 cups of firm fruit.
-Remove seeds and slice thinly.
-Measure fruit and place in a saucepan.
-Add 3/4 cups of water for every cup of fruit.
-Bring to boil for 15 minutes.
-Cool and place in fridge overnight to develop pectin.
-The next day measure stock and for each cup of stock, add one cup of sugar.
-Bring the mixture to boil and continue to boil until a candy thermometer reads 220 degrees.
-Pour immediately into sterilized jars.
Ammush also had another tip, the seeds themselves have a lot of pectin so she tied them up in a little cheesecloth and threw them in while cooking the fruit. You then remove the little bundle about 30 minutes into the second cooking process, this increases the pectin content and helps the marmalade set better.
I like my jam to be fairly tart and my kumquats were a bit sweet so I decided to halve the sugar in the recipe. I ended up with about 4 cups of fruit which made about three jars worth of marmalade. I didn’t try to can it, but there are lots of great tips about canning on the interwebs if you are brave enough to give it a try.
The marmalade turned out to be delicious, and I love knowing that we have now created an heirloom family recipe. I know this will be my go-to marmalade recipe, and will think of my sweet grandmother every time I make it.