For 4 cups of tea, use 4 standard tea bags, brewing them for 3-4 minutes, or according to the tea package's instructions. For classic kumquat marmalade, substitute 4 cups water for the tea. For shelf-stable marmalade, follow instructions for sterilizing the jars and water bath processing .
1-1/2 pounds kumquats
4 cups Earl Grey tea, brewed at regular strength and cooled to room temperature
2-2/3 cups (18-2/3 ounces) granulated sugar
- Thinly slice the kumquats using a paring knife; remove any seeds with the tip of the knife. Discard any small seed fragments, wrapping the whole and mostly intact seeds in a doubled-over piece of cheesecloth. Make a pouch out of the cheesecloth and seeds by bundling up the ends of the cheesecloth and tightly knotting it with a piece of kitchen twine.
- Add the sliced kumquats and seed bundle to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, and cover with the tea. Cover the pot with a lid and let the kumquats stand at room temperature for at least 4 and up to 24 hours (this helps tenderize the peels).
- Later, set the pot over medium heat, bring to a boil, skim off any floating seeds, and simmer the mixture for 45-60 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by about one-third. Discard the seed bag.
- Add the sugar, stir to distribute, and simmer for another 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the syrup has thickened, and the temperature registers 220°F on a candy thermometer.
- Skim off any scum, and ladle into jars (following proper canning procedure if you'd like). Refrigerate unless processing in a water bath (and after opening either way).
Makes about 3 cups.
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