Cumquat Jam

My brother lives in Toowoomba and can therefore grow anything! Last time I saw him, he presented me with a 2 kg bag of cumquats from his tree. I asked what I was going to do with so many, and he suggested I could make jam. I’ve never made jam before, but thought ‘why not?’

I divided the bag into two 1 kg lots, fearing that I might ruin my first attempt and need a back up for a second try. Even with just a kilo, it took me 2 nights to make the jam. I’ve said it before – it’s a bugger when full time work gets in the way of one’s hobbies and interests!





You would not believe how long it takes to wash, cut, and squeeze the pips out of 1 kg of cumquats! The pips are notoriously difficult to dislodge, and I retrieved many more from both the food processor and the pot.

The amount of sugar that goes into jam is a bit of a worry – 1.25 kg for 1kg of fruit. But I found justification in the knowledge that I am the grand-daughter and daughter of cane farmers. My cousin is still a cane farmer in the area we grew up in, and so my jam-making helps keep the industry alive!

The recipe was found in an old Warm Earth magazine.

  1. Wash & slice 1 kg cumquats
  2. Squeeze out the juice and pips into a sieve over a bowl
  3. Put the cumquats through the food processor until well broken up
  4. Place the fruit and juice into a large pot with 5 cups of water
  5. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until the fruit is tender
  6. Gently warm 1.25 kg of sugar on an oven tray for about 10 minutes, and add to pot along with a 50 gram packet of jam setter. Stir over low heat until dissolved.
  7. Return to the boil, boiling rapidly for 10 mins and stirring often.
  8. Test for setting by freezing a saucer for 5 mins & placing a teaspoon of jam onto it. If it wrinkles when you run your finger through it that means it is ready.

I sterilized my jars by washing them thoroughly, then placing them in an oven still warm after cooking something else.







So I’ve now made my first ever jam, and was surprised at how easy it was. Perhaps I might enter some jams in the country show next year!

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  • I think I would have dreamt about pipping cumquats after that effort. Well done Jo your jam looks delicious and definitely show worthy.

  • Dianne Williams says:

    Well done Jo on the jam. Your preparation report reminded me of the rosella jam-making days I enjoyed in a previous life. I practised coercion as well: my vigoro mates were drafted into the service of trimming the tiny peaked leaves from the seedball and peeling the seedballs. ‘Fiddly and tedious’ was the phrase my dear friends would have used, had they been brave enough to complain! I believe the making of cumquat jelly is an even more arduous task, with the requirement to strain the jam several times through squares of muslin to remove every piece of pulp. Bottling the jelly then required unrestrained help from the gods to ensure no air bubbles were present. No show-entering hopeful had a chance of winning if the jelly were not totally free of bits and bubbles!

    • Jo says:

      Di that has totally put me off ever making rosella jam! Perhaps I should be relieved that the seeds I’ve planted in the last couple of years have failed to germinate. Of course this would have something to do with my terrible soil. Will save you a jar of jam for when you return. xxx

  • Jo Castro says:

    Well done! And good luck in the local show! Go you! Yum, I would love to try your Cumquat jam. Funny story, years ago in South Africa we had a tree at the back of our property and our cocker spaniel got drunk eating fermented fallen cumquats – unbeknown to us. We took him to the vet thinking he was dying. He wasn’t, he was just stumbling around drunk!!

    • Jo says:

      I retrieved this one from the trash Jo! How rude of my site to classify your precious comment as trash! That is just hilarious! Poor little darling. I’ll bet that’s a story the vet is still telling. Don’t know if my cumquat jam will last until the show next June, but I can always ask my brother for some more. Might enlist some help with all the cutting and pip-squeezing!

  • Jo Castro says:

    Just commented, but my comment when into the ether. Hope you got it x

  • kathymarris says:

    Looks like too much work for me! However when I was a child my Mum made lots of different jams from the fruit off our fruit trees in our yard. Homemade jams are delicious, but I’ve never tried cumquat. I hope all your hard work paid off! #TeamLovinLife

    • Jo says:

      It is a lot of work Kathy. But so nice to enjoy it occasionally ourselves. It’s also lovely to be able to take a bottle as a hostess gift.

  • I’ve never made jam. I should add that to my bucket list. We should all experience making jam, shouldn’t we?

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