Sunday, 4 September 2011

molly's marmalade

i love the bitter sour perfumed flavour of cumquat so i planted one in my new garden two years ago and last autumn i made my first cumquat jelly..i decided to make jelly because, even though i love the flavour of cumquat, i've never really liked the consistency of the cumquat marmalade i've made..unlike the more dense rind of other citrus the skin on cumquat is soft and so it's difficult to cut it into lovely thin i've tended to end up with an inconsistently lumpy marmalade that i haven't enjoyed very much..

i am a bit of an op shopper in case you hadn't realised and at the same time as i made my cumquat jelly i noticed jars of delicious looking cumquat marmalade in my local op turned out that it had been made by molly, a volunteer, whom i know and really like..she is 82 years old and walks to and from the op shop daily with the assistance of a walking frame because she has chronic leg pain..despite the pain, however, molly is always smiling and friendly..


anyway i bought one of molly's jars of marmalade, even though i had my own jelly, and because it was so delicious i had to go back for another jar a few days later..she was chuffed when i told her how much i had enjoyed her marmalade because she hadn't considered herself much of a jam was then that is asked her how she made it and she offered to write the recipe out for me..i made a batch that afternoon and i can happily tell you that i considered it a success..the secret to it's success, i think, is that the fruit is minced..although i have to say i've never liked using this method with other citrus fruit..

      molly's cumquat marmalade
  • 1 kg cumquats (weight after de-seeding)
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 kgs sugar
  • juice 2 lemons

  • first de-seed cumquats (this is rather slow and laborious) and tie the seeds in muslin (molly didn't do this)
  • mince the cumquats (i used a food processor)
  • put minced cumquats and muslin bag in a large pan, pour over water, and leave to soak overnight
  • the next day boil until the fruit is soft (approximately 1/2 hour)
  • remove muslin bag and add the sugar and lemon juice
  • once the sugar is dissolved boil rapidly for approximately 1/2 hour or until set

my 'molly' marmalade  
it's a lovely vibrant orange colour

my thanks go to molly who kindly gave me permission to take her photograph and write her cumquat marmalade recipe in this post..


  1. Molly looks a complete treasure and her marmalade looks perfect. How kind to share her recipe with everyone too.

    I love cumquats and have never even dreamt of growing them, though with global warming all things are possible. They grow olive trees now in the UK..

    I don't know what an 'op' shop is, does op stand for opportunity? I'm guessing a charity shop or a bric a brac shop?????

  2. hi joanna..yes..op stands for opportunity and yes it's a charity shop..this one is anglican church based and their funds provide educational opportunities for young people in africa..there are many op shops here that are like emporiums now but this is one of the few that remains more 'old fashioned'..

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Molly and your shared love of cumquat preserves. Your friend Molly reminds me of my mother and the ladies that run their church's charity shop. They receive bags of donating goods every week, and the ladies sort through the items - what can be sold and what should be donated elsewhere because they can't use it. They receive a lot of videos, and my aunt previews them all for content and naughty language. Afterall, it is a Methodist charity shop! ;)

  4. I love opshops and I love cumquat marmalade. I made it for the first time last year, and those little jars were jars of gold. Unfortunately long gone now and I don't often see cumquats.

  5. hi misk..fancy previewing all the videos..that would be a huge job..and i wonder how she copes with those she isn't enjoying..

    what a pity i can't send you some cumquats cityhippyfarmgirl..i have a friend who can't get rid of them she has so many..

  6. What an amazing woman Molly is! Still volunteering at the op shop even though she's in pain. Good to hear she was able to help you solve your cumquat marmalade malaise as well.

  7. yes keely..molly is an amazing person generally..and the jams she makes are all donated to the op shop..

  8. Jane what a lovely story highlighting Molly's lovely cumquat marmalade! :)