From My Blogroll
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Before we begin, I must beg your pardon. I've waited so very long to share this recipe with you that at this point, I fear you'll have some difficulty in obtaining the ingredients. But it would be a shame to have to wait until next winter to make this marmalade, so I'm going to post it anyway. I hope very much that, what with California often being on the leading edge of the change in the turnover of seasonal produce, the bright hues of winter citrus are still in abundance at your local markets.
Personally, I've missed my window. I made only a small batch as a test run, and as it often does, life (*cough* grad school *cough*) kept me from making another, larger batch before kumquat season came to an end. Now that that one small batch is long gone, I find myself pining for it.
I still love orange marmalade, but after making and tasting tangerine-kumquat marmalade, I admit that I'm spooning ordinary orange marmalade onto my toast with a little less enthusiasm than I used to. There might even be a sigh now and then as I remember that what I have left in my pantry for the next nine months or so is not, in fact, tangerine-kumquat marmalade.
Most marmalades succeed reasonably well in striking a balance among sweet, tart, and bitter flavors. None, in my experience, does it with the grace that this one possesses. As Thomas Keller notes at the beginning of the recipe, this marmalade is at home aside an elegantly prepared duck as it is atop a humble bagel with cream cheese.
Marmalade skeptics might look askance at the relatively large pieces of rind suspended in the jelly. Indeed, the marmalade does have a substantial (in my opinion, very pleasant) chew, but the rind's bitterness mellows with an overnight soak in water, so those large pieces are not as bold as they otherwise might be. In fact, other than the color, there's not much about this marmalade that is bold. But don't let that dissuade you. It doesn't need to be bold. It's perfectly content to wait, earnest and smiling, for you to discover its virtues in your own good time. And I'm sure you will--assuming you can find some kumquats.