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Cumquat marmalade

Photo: Marina Oliphant

This is a good marmalade for beginners as it isn't too fiddly to make.


  • 1 kg cumquats
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 cups sugar


I find it easiest to leave the pips in the fruit while it cooks as they contain pectin, which helps set the marmalade. Simply remove the pips with a slotted spoon at the end. Preserves must be cooked over a high heat so they boil rapidly. Use the biggest hotplate you have and a wide, heavy-base pot.

Cut cumquats in quarters. Place in a large bowl with water, cover with cling film and stand in a cool place overnight. Transfer mixture to a large saucepan and stir in lemon juice. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes until cumquats are soft. Add sugar and stir, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil over high heat, then continue to cook, uncovered, without stirring for about 20 minutes or until marmalade gels when tested. To test if it is ready, place a teaspoon of marmalade onto a cold saucer and place in freezer for two minutes. Remove from freezer and press your finger gently against the marmalade to see if it wrinkles and a skin has formed. If not, keep cooking the marmalade for another five minutes, then retest. When ready, remove from heat and allow to settle for 10 minutes. Scoop out any pips and discard. Pour into hot, sterilised jars and seal.

Tip: To sterilise jars, wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse. Place upside down on tray in warm oven for 20 minutes. It's useful to keep them in the oven while making the marmalade.

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