Kumquat Marmalade
About three 1-cup (250ml) jars
Many of the little rings of kumquats will, unfortunately, come apart as you cook the marmalade. The reward, however, is gorgeous jars of tangy marmalade that you’ll be happy to spread on your morning toast or serve with a bit of cheese after dinner. I served mine with Comté, but a nice goat cheese or another nutty mountain cheese, like Gruyère, would pair nicely with it.It takes a bit of patience to slice and pluck out all the seeds from the kumquats, but you can get 2 to 3 jars of marmalade for your efforts. I use a small serrated knife to slice off the stem end, then start slicing the kumquats crosswise, until I get close to the center. Finally, I stick the tip of the knife into the area where the seeds are and slip them into a small bowl. Because the seeds are rather large, any that you miss you can usually find just by doing a little scanning of your pile of sliced kumquats.I use oval Nagami kumquats, which are more puckery than the round Meiwi kumquats, which you sometimes come across. Do try to get organic or unsprayed fruit from your local market or natural food store. The kirsch is optional, but it does nicely round out the flavor of the marmalade. You can substitute another liquor, such as gin, Grand Marnier or Cointreau, light rum, or a dash of brandy. Or it can be omitted, if you wish.
2 lemons stemmed, halved lengthwise, seeded, and very thinly sliced
1 pound (450g) kumquats stemmed, seeded, and sliced
Reserve the seeds from the lemon and kumquats
5 1/2 cups (1.3L) water
2 cups (400g) sugar
pinch of salt
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon kirsch or other liquor
1. Put the lemon slices in a large non-reactive pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lemons are translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain. (Discard the water.)
2. Put the blanched lemons back in the pot. Tie the seeds from the lemons and kumquats securely in a piece of cheesecloth or étamine, and add the seed sack to the pot along with the sliced kumquats and water. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let stand 24 hours.
3. The next day, put a small plate in the freezer. (Optional: If you have a candy thermometer, you can clip it to the side of the pot.)
4. Add the sugar and salt to the pot, and cook the marmalade for 30 to 45 minutes over medium heat. Remove the bag of seeds and when it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze the seeds in the cheesecloth using your hands or place it in a ladle and press it with the back of a soup spoon (being careful not to break the fabric and release the seeds) over the jam pot to so the pectin goes directly into the marmalade mixture.
5. Continue cooking until it has reached the jelling point, about 220ºF (104ºC) degrees, if using a candy thermometer. To test the marmalade, turn off the heat and put a small amount on the plate that has been chilled in the freezer and briefly return it to the freezer. Check it in a few minutes; it should be slightly jelled and will wrinkle a bit when you slide your finger through it. If not, continue to cook until it wrinkles slightly on the chilled plate when you nudge it.
6. Remove from heat, then stir in the kirsch (if using), and ladle the mixture into clean jars.

Note: I store my jams and marmalades in a cool place, often the refrigerator if not planning to use them within a few weeks. if you wish to can or preserve them, you can check out these canning tips.