Cumquat jelly, not marmalade

We have a small cumquat tree in our garden but even though it is small it has produced an incredible amount of cumquats. I have already made cumquat marmalade so this time I thought I would have a go at making cumquat jelly.

The recipe was one that I found on the Internet at SBS Food.


1 kg cumquats
sugar, as required


Cut the cumquats in half and place them in a saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook the fruit for 2 hours. Regularly skim off the froth as it comes to the surface.

Allow the liquid and fruit to cool slightly, then ladle it into a cloth-lined colander or sieve. A large clean tea towel is fine, or muslin is good if you have it. Allow the liquid to drip through into a large bowl.

When the dripping begins to slow, gather the edges of the cloth together and tie with string. Hang the cloth in an elevated position and allow the remaining liquid to drip through for a few hours, or overnight if time permits.

Measure the cumquat liquid into a saucepan and add equal caster sugar to the liquid. For example, you would add 500g sugar if you had 500ml liquid.

Return the liquid and sugar to the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and regularly skim off froth as it comes to the surface. Cook until it achieves a syrupy consistency, stirring frequently.

To see if the jam has reached setting point, place a teaspoon of the mixture onto a chilled plate. Tip the plate; if the jam runs, cook for a further 5 minutes, then try again. Pour into sterilised jars while still hot.

I bottled the jelly when I thought it had reached setting point but it turned out not to be quite set so I emptied the jars and boiled it for a bit more. It is now looking like proper jelly.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Winter Owls says:

    This looks lovely, it’s a beautiful colour too. Does it taste similar to Marmalade?

    1. suth2 says:

      It is the same as marmalade but without the peel and pulp. It is delicious on toast.

      1. Liz Day says:

        Few year later, I am reading this…about to use your method on some limequats….I have heaps!

        1. suth2 says:

          I haven’t heard of limequats, I assume they have a similar taste to limes. I hope the jelly turns out ok.

          1. Liz Day says:

            They look like a yellow cumquat, but have a very lime/ citrus taste! Lots and lots of pips, so thought a jel would be better than marmalade.,Grow well here, in the Moorabool Vallet between Geelong and Ballarat.

            1. suth2 says:

              Thank you for your explanation.

  2. It’s often tricky to get the setting point of jams and jellies right, but your jelly looks perfect in those jars.

  3. thewelshminx says:

    This looks lovely. i love making all sorts of preserves. Cumquats are very exotic if you’re in Yorkshire. I think the poet Tony Harrison wrote a poem about one.

    1. suth2 says:

      Thank you for the information re Tony Harrison poem. I found it here.
      Lovely thoughts on the cumquat.

  4. trkingmomoe says:

    Thanks for this. We have kumquats here in Florida. I will have to try the jelly when they come in season.

    1. suth2 says:

      My absolute favourite is the cumquat marmalade. I have made all types of marmalade but there is none better than the cumquat one. I prefer it to the jelly.

  5. are the kumquats sour to taste before making into jelly?

    1. suth2 says:

      Sorry for the delay in my reply. I haven’t been writing on my blog recently but now hope to get back to it.
      The kumquats taste like a cross between a lemon and an orange. They are not really sweet but they are edible if you like something a little different.

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