Step 1: Introduction
I have a kumquat tree and make a lot of different kumquat jams. This is by far my favorite. It's delicious with brie or cream cheese on crackers; also on pork, chicken...a spoon.... I could go on, but you get the point.
This recipe takes a minimum of two days because after cooking the fruit it is recommended that you let it rest overnight.
Finally, a note about fresh jalapenos: they vary a lot in how hot they are. Though I love the flavor the jalapenos give this jam, Iusually have to add 2 or more Serrano peppers to give the jam that slight bite that makes this jam so special.
Step 2: Gather Your Equipment
This is what I use:
large cooking pot
larger pot to sterilize the jars and jam
small pan to soften the gum on the lids
2 large bowls
Paring knife to cut fruit
(Optional) Food chopper
Ball type jars
Lids - these are not reusable
Sponge or stove mitt
spoon to skim foam
Step 3: Ingredients
2 ½ lb kumquats (weight measured after removing seeds, stems, and centers)
12 jalapenos, stem and seeds removed
2 - 4 Serrano peppers (optional)
75 gms bulk pectin (from www.nuts.com) or 1 ½ pkgs Sure Gel Low Sugar pectin
2 cups water
7 cups sugar
½ cup lemon or lime juice (This juice ensures that the jam has enough acid to set.)
Step 4: Cooking: Part 1
1. Wash the fruit in plain cold water.
2. Cut the kumquats. I use everything except the stems, seeds, and the white center section. So I cut the rind and fruit around the center portion - trying to leave as much of the seeds as I can in the center. (In the image to the left you can see the three sections I will keep to the left of the knife and what I will discard to the right.) I usually have to scrape off seeds and parts of seeds from the sections that I just cut.
3. Chop the fruit. When I have 2 ½ pounds of kumquat pieces and cut the stem and scraped off the seeds of 12 jalapenos I chop the fruit - either by hand or using a food chopper. I do not use a blender or processor that eliminates the texture of small pieces of fruit in the jam.
4. Add ½ cup lemon juice (juice from four small lemons) to chopped fruit.
5. Cook the kumquats and jalapenos in 2 cups of water. I bring to boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, and if you see any seeds remove them.
6. Turn off heat and stir in the 6 ½ cups sugar. (Adding the sugar at this point helps preserve the mixture for a few days - in case something comes up and you can't cook and jar the jam the next day.)
7. Taste and add chopped Serrano peppers if desired.
8. Let cool and then transfer to a bowl or leave in pot and put in the refrigerator overnight.
9. (Optional - Sterilize the jars by putting them in the dishwasher.)