July 3, 2011
After I used a double boiler to melt my chocolate for the Best Brownies Ever, I decided not to waste the energy that was used in boiling the water. I chucked about an equal amount of sugar into the water (as there was water in the pot). By the way, that is how you make simple syrup – equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil so that the sugar dissolves. Anyway, we had a few left over kumquats from our CSA last week (or was it the week before???), so I tossed those in too. Candied kumquats couldn’t be bad…
They bobbed and floated until they split a little or started to look prunish (a little wrinkly). I fished them out with a spoon and placed them in bowl to cool. I reduced the syrup a little further and poured it into a little ceramic pitcher – orangey flavored simple syrup = yummy. I figured I would find a use for them at some point.
Feeling festive this morning, I tossed a kumquat in my soda water (from my SodaStream which I am OBSESSED with) and it floated around like an abandoned beach ball in an empty swimming pool. Hence the title, kumquat beach balls. Wouldn’t that be a phenomonal cocktail garnish? Good for kiddy and non-alcoholic cocktails too. Sweet, healthy, cute, fun – win, win. I stirred a little of the syrup into my soda water - delicious. You get a strong whiff of orange off of the floating fruit then a slight hint of orangey sweetness on your taste buds.
February 27, 2011
Sportsglutton has been away this past week and he left behind five oranges that he had bought to snack on. I don’t have anything against oranges, but they can be a messy portable snack especially when compared to apples, bananas, or grapes. Anyway, the point of the story is that I would be eating the five oranges, but I didn’t want them to go bad and get thrown out either. I was searching for recipes, but none of the desert type recipes were striking my fancy and I was missing too many ingredients for salads. Low and behold, I open up Design*Sponge and there was a new post for orange & vanilla marmalade… Excellent!
I used navel oranges, a blood orange, and an orange of unknown origin. That was not quite enough for the recipe, so I threw in half a grapefruit that was hanging around the fridge and two Meyer lemons.
Unfortunately, I yielded only about four seeds total (two from the grapefruit, two from the lemons) which is hardly enough for all of the pectin needed – my marmalade did not pass the gel test no matter how much longer I cooked it. I ran out and grabbed some liquid pectin (with the rest of the canning supplies in the grocery store) which worked out just fine (I added it at the end). As is typical with most marmalade recipes, this takes two days to make though you may be able to knock it down to one if you add pectin instead of trying to extract it from the seeds, skins, and pith.
Please forgive the photograph quality/clarity - Sportsglutton has the camera and I was left with my phone.
The marmalade is rustic, not too sweet, and perfectly delicious. My pot yielded about 7.5 half pint jars (the “jam” size jars or the little squat ones). Not only would it be great on toast, but would pair well with cheese (goat, triple cream, cream cheese, etc), pump up savory dishes (I added a little to an asian coconut milk marinade for beef), top off ice cream, and be phenomenal mixed into whipped cream or pastry cream with a cake (vanilla, spice, chocolate). Oh, and it is great for gifts!