Calamondin are similar to kumquats, however, they lack the bitter quality of kumquats although they are about the same size. They just throw a puckery punch of orange flavor, and can be eaten with skin and flesh. They are so puckery that the best way to use them is… in a jam. A calamondin infused vodka would rival a limoncello.
I plucked them, washed them with a bit of baking soda and hot water, rinsed them, and sliced them up, removing the seeds and making sure to preserve all the juice they’d loose when cut up. They are cooked barely covered with water ‘until soft’. In my case, I cooked them about 20 min, and then let them chill overnight. Since the calamondin membranes are a natural pectin and marmelade thickener, this ‘gel-ing’ happens in the wait period. Today, I measure the amount of base jam I had, equaled it with sugar, and cooked it for another 20 min. Many tiny mason jars were filled (great gifts!) and 2 large ones for me. The cooking spoon taste taste says: insanely good! ---
They would be fabulous with raincoast crackers and soft goat cheese.
How to make calamondin jam?
- one pound of calamondin
- large bottom heavy pot
- 3-4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
With a sharp knife, slice calamondin into small slivers, and removed the seeds. Cut on a plate to make sure to capture the juice (if this is taking too long, you can also chop them in a food processor and work with the pulb, however, the thin slivers of calamondin skin look a lot prettier).
Place all the sliced calamondin in a large, bottom heavy pot, and cover barely with water.
Simmer under gentle heat until calamondin are soft (ca. 15 min). Remove from heat, and chill in fridge for 24h (I did about 18h).
The pectin in the calamondin develops, and thickens the jam.
Add the orange juice, stir, and measure the amount of base jam you have (I had exactly 4 cups). Then, add that much sugar.
Under much stirring and gentle heat do simmer for another 20 min (max). The jam changes its consistency, the sugar melts and the mixtures becomes dark and candy like.
Prepare mason jars by sterilizing them (and the lids) in boiling water for 10min.
Fill mason jar with jam, close the lids, and turn jars on their head to make sure they are sealed through the hot jam.
After 10 min, turn mason jar around. Let cool and set. Enjoy!