Windfall Marmalade (Cumquats)

Last Monday, to celebrate Liz’s second birthday, we tripped off to Bermagui to have lunch with friends, Dennis and Jenny, on the waterfront.


Before we headed off, piggies had to be fed and I had to take a few photos of the stunning display provided by our frequent visitor Jack Frost. Actually, it’s lucky any of them turned out as I couldn’t feel my finger tips. And yes, even by the time we hit the road at 9.20am, it was still -5 degrees celsius. It’s that time of the year.

Bermagui also put on a stunning display. Sunshine and sparkling water. No wind. Fish and chips for lunch. Freshly made Tartare sauce. My kind of day.

After lunch, we headed back to our friend’s property, just the other side of Cobargo, to enjoy more sunshine and a stroll around the garden.

You can imagine my delight when I spotted their Cumquat tree. And they were happy to share them along with a few lemons. A little windfall.

Well, all good things come to an end. We found ourselves leaving Cobargo a little bit later than planned which left me feeding piggies in the dark. Not recommended.


Since then, the Cumquats have been successfully converted to marmalade. Windfall marmalade I’m calling it. Jenny had given me a quick run down on how to make it and overall, it was successful. It is messy and time consuming however it’s worth the effort.

Here’s the recipe.

Cumquat Marmalade

1 kg Cumquats (I had just over so I used the whole lot)

Juice of one large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

5 cups water

6 cups sugar

Jam Setta (just in case)

Set up a strainer over a large pot. Cut your Cumquats into quarters being careful not to cut right through. Squeeze each Cumquat over the strainer. The idea is to catch the juice in the pot and the pips in the strainer. Make sure you get all the pips. I missed a few.

Place your squeezed Cumquats into a food processor (I had to do two batches), process and then place in the pot with the juice of the Cumquats, the juice of the lemon and the five cups of water.

I didn’t have a muslin cloth, so I improvised by using a clean thread bare tea towel (that I cut up) tied at the top with kitchen twine. This is used to wrap up your pips. Place your wrapped up pips in the Cumquat mixture. Cover and leave overnight to soak.


Bring the Cumquat mixture to the boil and then simmer for half an hour or until the rind has softened. At this point, you can discard the muslin bag.

Add the sugar. Stir constantly over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. After the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil and allow to boil, without stirring and uncovered, until the mixture jells when tested (refer to Dos and Don’ts).


Pour the mixture into hot sterilised jars and place the lids on immediately.

Enjoy! Mrs D x

Dos and Don’ts

The pips are supposed to aid in the setting of the jam. This didn’t work for me so I used Jam Setta following the directions on the packet.

Don’t vacuum and mop before making this jam. I had the juice everywhere including all over me. The next morning I had ants from one end of the house to other.

The easiest way to do the jell test is to use a plate placed into the fridge. Once you think the jam is ready, place a teaspoon of the mixture onto the plate and it should set to a jam consistency within a minute or so. If it doesn’t, then more boiling time is required.

Use a heavy based pot. The one I have used is Bessemer (I’ve had it forever and I use it for everything). The thing I have learnt about jam (in my limited experience) is that it goes from being ready one minute to burning and sticking to the bottom of the pot in the next. A heavy based pot will reduce the chance of this happening.

The lids must be placed on immediately after pouring the hot mixture into the jars. If you allow the mixture to cool before sealing, you may end up with mouldy jam. You will cry!

Pouring the mixture into the hot jars requires utmost care. Don’t burn yourself.





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