30 Jun2007

marm1

Orange marmalade always struck me as being a bit bitter. It seems the finest ones in the world are, in fact, rather bitter, and traditionally made using Seville oranges. Cheaper orange marmalades are often made with rinds from sweeter varieties of oranges and also contain a phenomenal amount of added sugar, not to mention food coloring. My mom was a huge fan of orange marmalade and when there wasn’t anything else for breakfast, I inevitably had a couple of pieces of toast with butter and some of her orange marmalade stash. If the source of the marmalade was an aunt in Australia or a visitor from Europe, the marmalade was the bitterish version. If it was a local grocery purchase, it was sweet and probably artificially colored. Oddly, I liked the slightly bitter version, despite an aversion to ampalaya and almost all other bitter foods at that stage of my tastebud development. As the years progressed, the only place I would come across orange marmalade was on long plane rides (front end for business) or in hotel breakfast room service trays where the marmalade came in cute little glass bottles. Oddly, I never bought any for myself.

Several months ago, while on a jam and jelly making spree, I made a mental note to try my hand at making a kalamansi or calamondin marmalade when kalamansi fruit was plentiful. marm2I figured it would be even bitter-er than a marmalade of Seville oranges but I was willing to at least try… at most, I would have an inedible batch of marmalade and waste PHP50-70 worth of ingredients and a few hours of tinkering in the kitchen. It has always bothered me that the finest kalamansi sorbet I have ever tasted was in a Parisian sweets shop which had an ice cream chiller sitting right on the street. It was viewed to be a totally exotic flavor and I am always slightly annoyed when we do not take full advantage of the wonderful produce we have locally available, and it takes a foreign mind to use it in such a wonderful way; this sorbet had the essence of kalamansi FLAVOR, with only some of the acidic hit… During my recent market forays in Ilocos, I found fantastic looking kalamansi and a quick word with the vendor yielded her promise that she in fact grew them in her backyard (it was the only thing she was selling out of a basket) and that no, she couldn’t really afford to spray them with any insecticide…so BINGO!, here goes the first of several kalamansi experiments a la Marketman…

To make the marmalade, carefully select approximately 1/2 kilo of fresh green kalamansi without blemishes on their skin. If they have zits or acne, relegate them to your juice or squeeze on your pancit. Wash the skins of the kalamansi very well, use a marm4vegetable brush if you are unsure about the fruit’s provenance. Remove the stem ends of the fruit and slice the fruit very thinly and place in a bowl, skins, pulp, juice, etc. Make sure you remove all of the seeds carefully; do NOT leave seeds (whole, sliced or chipped) in the mixture. Some folks use the seeds of citrus in cheese cloth added to the pulp to get more pectin, but I find that kalamansi has tons of pectin so this added step is unnecessary, in my opinion. For each cup of fruit, you should add just under a cup of water. You should have approximately 2+ cups of chopped fruit from your 1/2 kilo of kalamansi. Boil the kalamansi and water mixture for 18-20 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the kalamansi soup/mush to cool to room temperature. Place the soup into the fridge overnight or for 6-8 hours to extract maximum pectin. I cheated and only waited 4 hours of fridge time and it worked well… but you may want to be more patient.

Take the cold kalamansi soup out and place it in a small to medium sized heavy enameled pot and add about 1 and 1/4 cup sugar for every 1 cup of kalamansi soup liquid/solids. Boil this mixture at medium high heat until it reaches 220F or the setting point (technically speaking). You can best figure this out with a candy thermometer. But if, like me, you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can just wing it and I cooked the mixture for say 18-20 minutes before turning off the heat. Skim the scum on the top to the best of your ability marm3without taking too much marmalade with it. Place this in a sterilized jar, seal it and set it on the kitchen counter to make sure the marmalade settles properly. I refrigerate my marmalade so I didn’t have to do the whole sterilize the jar treatment after I put the marmalade in. The results? Utterly brilliant if I say so myself. It is on the bitter side, but the kalamansi flavor is superb. The texture is exactly as I wished for. If you don’t like bitterish flavors, don’t even think about doing this recipe. If, however, you are a fan of really good orange marmalade, you may find this kalamansi version an interesting alternative. Ideally, this marmalade should sit around in your fridge for a week or two before you eat it. I was in a hurry so I waited one night… Things always TASTE better when you make them yourself; so perhaps I am biased, but this is a good marmalade. It really bugs me no end that we can’t buy artisanally produced local products like this. I figure it only cost me PHP50 or so to make the jam, so bottled and with a nice profit margin, you should be able to buy this for say PHP195-225. I would happily pay that much if I could trust the supplier… On a piece of wheat toast with a nice chunk of melting sweet butter, this was a perfect way to start the day…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. paolo says:

    You just gave me a Great Idea.

    I have a Calamansi Tree growing on a pot that is 20 years old. The plant grows outside during the summer season and indoors under flourescent lamp during winter. Anyway, the tree is awfully big and produces a basketful of the most beautiful Calamansi Fruits.

    Last year, I had so much fruits ripened on the tree I did not know what to do with it.

    I’ll try making the marmalade for this year’s crop.

    Jun 30, 2007 | 7:06 pm

     
  2. pam says:

    wow! now i know what to do with the calamansi and kumquat loot i was given yesterday. my calamansi plant in the backyard is ready for harvesting as well. this is just perfect. thanks, MM! :)

    Jun 30, 2007 | 7:13 pm

     
  3. Apicio says:

    James Mitchener whose popular early novels, Tales of the South Pacific, Hawaii and Sayonara gave us a fantastic Broadway musical and a movie based on this plus two other great Hollywood movies worked in a freight boat transporting Seville oranges to Britain for use in their justly famous marmalades. That’s how he caught his initial fascination with Spain that germinated into an excellent and still indispensable introduction to its history and culture, Iberia.

    I wonder what we would get if they crossed kumquat with calamansi, a fruit with the flavour of calamansi, pipless and sweet juice that you can pop in your mouth, rind and all?

    Jun 30, 2007 | 8:09 pm

     
  4. bernadette says:

    Thank God for this recipe! We have one calamansi tree here bearing fruits as numerous as grapes on a vine! We have given it to neighbors as good-will tokens but God’s/Mother Nature’s abundance knows no bounds when the time is right :-). One neighbor quipped, “you don’t need a huge garden of fruit trees; just have a neighbor with one!” :-)I guess the next thing we will be giving out is calamansi marmalade!

    Jun 30, 2007 | 8:39 pm

     
  5. joey says:

    That looks superb! I have made marmalade with kumquats to great result :)

    Jun 30, 2007 | 10:31 pm

     
  6. elaine says:

    this is wonderful!! there are several ways with calamansi…I’ve tasted a whole,well a half cut actually, sweetened in syrup and stuffed with nata de coco. you actually eat it the whole thing including the rind(which was sweetened already), then on a village sat. market, i got to taste calamansi yoghurt, sort of but it was quite disappointing, i guess nothing may compare to the one you’ve tasted in paris and then, the MARMALADE! Brilliant brilliant idea! i love marmalades especially the bittery ones, so with this recipe of yours i just wouldn’t mind at all if it’s bittery…the more the better for me!!! thanks again MM!!!!!!!

    Jul 1, 2007 | 12:36 am

     
  7. Jacob's Mom says:

    Does anyone know where I can get a calamansi plant in Pennsylvania?

    Jul 1, 2007 | 2:16 am

     
  8. paolo says:

    I got mine at a garden center. They call it, miniature orange plant! You’ll find them there.

    I see them at times sold at grocery stores like Kroger.

    The good thing about these plants, they need very little care but the important factor for it to survive is sunlight or UV light from flourecent lamps.

    Jul 1, 2007 | 2:25 am

     
  9. Jacob's Mom says:

    Salamat, Paolo!

    Jul 1, 2007 | 9:23 am

     
  10. corrine says:

    And to think that I can’t even grow calamnsi in our place where the soil is so compact and adobe-like. *sigh*

    Jul 1, 2007 | 12:26 pm

     
  11. aince says:

    Marketman, somebody sells calamansi marmalade at the Salcedo market for 150 per bottle. They also sell other jams and jellies made with local fruit. Their products are a bit on the sweet side, though. I still make my own when I find the time.

    Jul 2, 2007 | 12:35 pm

     
  12. Marketman says:

    aince, thanks for that information… I will check them out… Now that my marmalade has mellowed a few days, it is tasting REALLY good. So I agree with you, make my own if possible… thanks again!

    Jul 2, 2007 | 12:47 pm

     
  13. MarketFan says:

    Hi Marketman,

    I’m not sure if my earlier comment got through (or I might have forgotten to strike the submit button). Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how lucky I felt yesterday when I came upon the last box of Ball Home Canning Basics kit at True Value and bought it at 30% discount. I’m on my way to trying more of your jams, jellies and marmalade recipes. I tried this kalamansi marmalade a few weeks ago and it was perfect. My friends loved it.

    Have you come across a constant supply of Bell mason jars or similar bottles in Manila? You’re not the only one planning to give artisanal jams as Christmas gifts this year…but I have to thank you for inspiring me in this endeavor.

    MarketFan

    Oct 25, 2007 | 12:46 pm

     
  14. clarisse says:

    ..bkit po aLang caLamansi spraY parA sa investigatory project..??????????????

    Jan 7, 2008 | 6:40 pm

     
  15. fayecath says:

    Hi Marketman!

    Love this site!!!

    Aug 15, 2008 | 11:55 pm

     
  16. Rene Martinez says:

    The Trappists in Guimaras have been selling calamansi preserve in glass jars. We always make a point of buying some whenever we are home. Just haven’t stopped to determine whether it’s jam or marmalade or simply preserve….guess, just thrilled to discover a Philippine product that can be considered exotic even by expats…..

    Nov 7, 2008 | 2:15 pm

     
  17. Carol O-K says:

    I used to painstakingly remove all the seeds very carefully and without squeezing the fruit (I think squeezing makes it more bitter) until I realized that when you reach the stage where you add the sugar and boil it, the seeds float!! So at that point, I am able to remove the seeds using a spoon or ladle. I’ve been making calamansi jam for a while now and getting ready to do my Christmas batch soon.

    By the way, sometimes I add homemade pectin from my lemon and orange trees and get a better consistency than pure calamansi only.

    Nov 17, 2008 | 3:06 am

     
  18. Emma says:

    Wow, reading your procedure makes my mouth water..The monks of the Trappist Monastic Products make good marmalades too. Actually they are best known for their guava jelly and calamansi marmalades. Now they have added more assortment of processed fruits and delicacies such as dried mango, dried pineapple, mango butterscotch and otap de manga.

    Dec 17, 2008 | 4:52 pm

     
 

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