Jam making | Kumquat Marmalade … In Season & in plenty!

“I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.”
D.H. Lawrence

Kumquat MarmaladeIt’s a happy feeling just looking at a jar of homemade Kumquat Marmalade, characteristically bitter-sweet and delicious. Life continues to race, the days forever busy. A feeling of strange uncertainty takes over at times, like I’ve forgotten something, maybe missed a deadline.  It’s not the ‘end of the year‘ panicky feeling, or the ‘before exam restlessness‘. Then again, maybe like marmalade, life is bitter-sweet too!

Kumquat Marmalade I like to enjoy what I do, relax and vegetate sometimes, yet the modern day rat race of sorts is woven into every second that ticks by. Can’t figure out what happened to those laid back times of yesteryear.

KumquatsThen in this feeling of being on a roller coaster comes a small break … jam making. Thankfully it’s a process that you so totally get immersed in, that the unsettled feeling is forgotten. The marmalade kept me on my toes, more so because junior decided to get involved.

KumquatsRight from plucking the fruit off the tree, to shooting fruit in baskets, to grabbing some away from the dog, stirring, bottling … he was there all the way! {Little Coco had her eyes peeled through-out}CocoI have been fascinated by the fruit since I was young. No one ever ate them, too tart of course, but they were so pretty! And the colours? Inspirational! Then a few years ago, a lady in the neighbourhood let us into her guarded little secret of making bitter marmalade with these. You will not imagine how many kilos of sugar disappeared into jars of jam once we were ‘fruitily enlightened‘!Kumquat Marmalade Every one we knew and their cousins were gifted bitter marmalade with glee. The hard work of snipping peels and stirring the jam until translucent well worth the look of amazement on the happy recipients faces. For the past 3 years this is all I do come winter, and everyone in the neighbourhood knows where to send their fruit.

KumquatsCall it the strangeness of nature, but the much in demand lime tree just doesn’t seem to bear fruit like the kumquat tree. Kumquats finds little use among common growers and are not commercially sold in India. Yet, almost every household in North India proudly sports a kumquat tree, also called ornamental orange. The fruit fall and rot once ripe as even birds don’t feed on them, they are so tart!!

The round kumquat also called Marumi kumquat or Morgani kumquat, is an evergreen tree, producing edible golden-yellow fruit. Kumquat literally means ‘golden orange’. The fruit can be eaten cooked but is mainly used to make marmalades and jellies. It is grown as an ornamental plant and can be used in bonsai. The plant symbolizes good luck in China and other Asian countries.

Kumquat Marmalade “So much sugar? More? No Mama, No”! I forgot all my jam making skills, and I have made this jam umpteen times. “Is it done mama, is it done. Shall I stir? What if the bag of seeds opens? I think you haven’t tied it properly?” I could have tied up the thirteen year old, I was so nervous.

Kumquat MarmaladeThen I announced it was ‘plate test time’. “What’s that? Ooh can I do it? I think it’s setting. Ya. No. Noooooooooooo … cook some more Mama. OK, let me stir. Shall we cook more?” . I finally regained control of my bitter kumquat marmalade finally telling him I thought it was done {though I think I cooked it a little longer than I should have!}

Kumquat Marmalade It’s strange how when kids are part of a process, they love the food even more. It’s been marmalade and toast for the past few days no matter what. Double fried eggs, cereal … and then the call, “Mama, if it’s not too much trouble, can I have toast with marmalade please?” Did I tell you he was charming? Gosh, all the way!

A word of thanks –  Thank you Ziet Online for featuring me in Sunday Dinners.

[print_this]Recipe: Kumquat Marmalade
your picture

Summary: Bitter kumquat marmalade is one of the best ways to use up this tart fruit. Makes a for a great gift, and is also a wonderful addition to cake batters, frosting, pies etc. Makes about 6 jars.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • 1kg kumquats 
  • 1kg sugar 
  • 250ml water


  1. Sterilize 4-5 jam jars. Place a metal spoon in each jar {this ensures that the glass jar will not crack when the hot jam is poured in}.
  2. Place the sieving bowl over a bigger bowl, and squeeze the seeds to deseed the fruit. We need to collect the seeds as they contain the pectin to set the jam. Make a bouquet garnet of the seeds.
  3. Snip the peels with scissors into strips.
  4. Place the strips, with the pouch of seeds, in a heavy bottom pan on full heat. Boil for a few minutes till the peel is tender, stirring constantly.
  5. Add the water and continue to cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Now add sugar, stirring constantly.
  6. Continue to cook over high heat for a further 10-15 minutes until the mixture thickens & the strips becomes translucent.
  7. Do a plate test by dropping some marmalade on a cold metal plate to check if the jam is setting properly. After 30 seconds, it should congeal and look jellylike.
  8. Put off the flame, discard the muslin pouch with the seeds and allow the jam to cool for 10-15 minutes. Stir to distribute the strips.
  9. Now pour the marmalade into the jars, and seal after 10-15 minutes.
  10. {I refrigerate my jars}
  11. Thermomix method:
  12. Place the peels in the TM bowl and slice at speed 10 for 2-3 seconds. Add the reserved juice to the TM bowl, with 250g water, and run on Reverse at 100 for 10 minutes, speed slow.
  13. Add 800g sugar and the bouquet garni {which holds the seeds}, and run at reverse at speed 2 for 2 minutes. Add a further 450g sugar {small kumquats tend to be very bitter}, and continue to cook at reverse speed 2 for a further 8 minutes.
  14. Now turn power to 100C, place the lid at an angle, and cook until the gelling action kicks in and the jam begins to set. {Do a stainless steel plate test. Drop some marmalade on a cold plate to see if it sets in under a minute}. Mine took about 7-8 minutes.
  15. Put off the TM, discard the muslin pouch with the seeds & allow to stand in TM jar for about 15-20 minutes, and then pour into prepared jars. I refrigerate my marmalade.


Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • 4 years ago

    This is so yummy. I turn all citrus fruits available to me into marmalade but kumquat was somehow not ever available in good quantity. These fruits really are quite fleshy to give such jam like body to the marmalade. Loving it with my crackers 🙂

  • 4 years ago

    A wonderful and fragrant jam! Delicious on fresh homemade bread.

    Your dog is a real cute and great model.



  • 4 years ago

    I get too nervous with the kids around to bake or even cook with them around, can visualize all that you have written, lol!
    Am not a jam person, more like I don;t like cooked fruit, but orange marmalade is an exception. Your jam looks so so inviting and I must say your pictures are truly OUTSTANDING!!!

  • 4 years ago

    Lovely lovely marmalade. Bada mazaa aagaya. Now please make kumquat liqour with the remaining ones

  • I made this too..albeit with regular kinnoos..maybe next time i’ll keep a lookout at ma’s garden when her kumquat plants fruit!!! I just love marmalade.. bittersweet.. like you said.. just like life!! :))

  • You are so lucky to have a kumquat tree! What a luxury. Love your recipe and will have to try it.

  • 4 years ago

    Deeba Just one sentence..I badly want that bottle of Marmalade now..Kumquat tree in your Backyard…. Lucky you.. Pictures and Marmalade are outstanding.

  • Such beautiful photos… I am not a big fan of citrus fruit marmalades much but my mom loved them!
    I have been in a jam making spree myself! I have made tons of strawberry jam and considering making some grape jam today 🙂

  • Never made marmalade with kumquats, more of into jamming these days … love the pics to bits

  • 4 years ago

    A great looking jam Deeba! I can smell the fragrance from here. Thanks for sharing the recipe, now I know that the seed have purpose too…

  • I had my aha moment when I saw the tree pic..the Hubs bought a tree only recently when we moved to our new place, yet I never thought kumquat and ‘ornamental’ chinese orange tree is the same thing! I cant believe I actually have a Kumquat tree! hahaha, thANKs Deeba for the discovery, I’m so gonna make this marmalade when the fruits are ripened!

  • 4 years ago

    loved the pics totally!

  • 4 years ago

    I love kumquats, but the ones I find at the store are nowhere near as nice as yours. Jam made from them sounds amazing, but I bet it’s no fun taking out all those seeds.

  • 4 years ago

    Hi Deeba, this kumquat jam looks delicious! We rarely buy kumquats coz they are tongue-tickling-tang that it makes our eyes and brows pecker! But with the idea of making jams from them sounds amazing and I am sold. Your photography is gorgeous! Love it every bit.

  • 4 years ago

    I envy you your kumquat tree and the marmalade looks delicious. I love making jams and marmalade and this this reminds me it’s been quite a while..

  • How beautiful are those oranges Deeba. I sure would love to be your neighbor 🙂

  • How I wish I had a kumquat tree in my backyard! They are much harder to come by out here and the little round ones are especially elusive.

  • 4 years ago

    Love the colours!!! such beautiful photos!

    Its always rejuvenating to visit your blog Deeba!

  • Colleen Webb
    3 years ago

    Hello – Thermomix method from Step 12 is not very clear re cooking heat, etc. Can you please clarify/rewrite?

    • 3 years ago

      Hi Colleen, Take a look. Does it make more sense now? Cheers!

  • 3 years ago

    I loved your pictures and directions but had trouble with amount no in oz. or lb or cups. Looked on internet but all wanted you to download a program so guessed using same amount of kumquats as sugar and added some water. Tasted the little bit of left overs and husband said i forgot the sugar-so guess not sweet enough for him. However ok with me as i can just eat them from the tree. we are from the north but visiting in Ga. and found some trees free for the picking. If you help with the measures will try some again. Thanks.

  • 2 years ago

    I must try this recipe… This looks so good… And yummeh… !

  • 2 years ago

    But i dont know where to buy kumquat in my city 🙁

    • 2 years ago

      You can’t buy them. They grown on ornamental plants. Called Chinese orange, tangerine etc.

Related Posts

Please wait...

Subscribe to my newsletter

Want to be notified when the article is published? Do enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.
%d bloggers like this: