Saturday, June 11, 2011

Small Batch, part 2

So, there was that half cup or so of kumquat syrup reserved from what was left of the preserves into marmalade debacle. I decided to mix it in with a chopped mango, a cup of sugar, a couple of ounces of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of pectin. I cooked the fruit for a bit longer than I might typically, but only because the mango was not as ripe as I would have liked it to be. The yield was 1 half pint and 2 precious four ounce jars. I processed them in a water bath for about 12 minutes. The end product was still very lemony in color---despite how it shows in the photograph below which was taken with my mobile phone camera. The preserves have a really bright flavor, and that citrus infused syrup really serves it well.

next time? we'll go back to big batches with seedless blackberry jam!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Small Batch.

There's been some talk about small batches on the Food In Jars facebook page lately. Obviously, small batches are great for people with small kitchens, little households or who just want to make something to save rather quickly. I was really mentally puffing up like a proud bird, and preparing to do nothing EVER on such a small scale until two things happened: a couple of packages of organic kumquats were on sale at the grocer and my daughter started to peel a not quite ripe mango.

First came the kumquats. I read the Canning for a New Generation approach to preparing a kumquat preserve, and was really uneasy about the process. The boiling and rinsing three times perplexed me, but it turned out fine. The thing that ended up bothering me was that as beautiful as the translucent orbs appeared in the jar, they seemed really hard to approach from an eating perspective. I found myself wondering how on earth I'd serve a chewy kumquat in drippy syrup.

Luckily, I remembered that my mother-in-law was only a shade irritated about not getting a jar of the grapefruit-orange marmalade that I made in January, so I decided to remove the seeds from the kumquats and quickly process them in my Cuisinart. I ended up with enough product to make 2 half pint jars of marmalade with about 6 ounces of just the syrup reserved for my next project. There was also just enough to smear on some buttery, slightly burned toast.

To recap, I followed Liana Krissoff's recipe for Kumquat Preserves before mincing the kumquats, adding a tablespoon of pectin, a tablespoon of lemon juice, some lemon zest and boiling to 220 degrees. I processed for 12 minutes in a water bath, and checked for a good seal. The product was delicious---a little more pungent than orange marmalade, but a surprisingly good, little batch.

look for my post on how to make something special with 4 ounces of kumquat and lemon infused simple syrup and just one mango next!