There were some sad moments at the breakfast table this morning when the realization struck that we had used the last jar of my homemade marmalade. The very last spoonful of the near two dozen jars of both orange and Meyer Lemon vanilla bean were gone! Folks, there is nothing sadder than an empty biscuit first thing in the morning.
As I dropped the spoon into the empty jar, I happened to glance into the corner of the room where the fruit-laden Calamondin orange tree stood. After a summer outside where it flourished and scented the deck with a heady aroma, it had to be brought into the house until it could return to its place next spring. How I muscled a twenty pound clay pot filled with forty pounds of soil, and a TREE into the house and avoided a hernia is another story. But there it was, humbly waiting in the corner of the room.
At that moment I remembered a recipe that my friend, Harol, (whose husband has a literal orchard of citrus on their patio) had sent me years ago along with a box of Calamondin oranges. The recipe instructed how to make a marmalade that tasted as good as homemade using Calamondins and a “no cook” method. I looked up that recipe, which is really nothing more than a sentence or two, and set to work.
The kitchen smelled marvelous, so fresh and sweet and citrus-y, that I had to stop what I was doing on two occasions and just breathe in the goodness. The end result was as good as I had remembered.
If you are fortunate enough to grow your own little oranges, or know someone who does, here is a recipe for fresh tasting marmalade in a matter of minutes. It's worth making for the olfactory experience alone.
6-7 Calamondin oranges
1 12-oz. Jar Smucker’s orange marmalade
Wash the oranges thoroughly, scrubbing with a clean vegetable brush. Pat dry with paper towels.
Quarter the oranges and remove the seeds.
Place the seedless, quartered oranges into a mini food processor (or a regular sized one if that's all you have), and pulse until the oranges are thoroughly chopped, but not puréed.
Empty the jar of Smucker's marmalade into a medium bowl and fold in the chopped Calamondins. Turn mixture back into the original jar and put the rest in a bowl and set it on the table to enjoy.
Serve with hot biscuits.
I suspect that you could do this same thing with kumquats, using probably 8-10. Give it a try; I'm sure you can't go wrong.
Keep in mind that marmalade is good for more than slathering on a biscuit. You can also use it to top waffles, sandwich between a stack of pancakes, fold into a premade crepe, or dollop onto a bowl of oatmeal. It makes an excellent sandwich spread (on turkey, chicken, or ham) when combined with either a bit of Dijon mustard or a healthy amount of cranberry sauce. It is incredibly versatile.
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