Tag Archives: citrus

Wordless Wednesday: First Mandarin of the Year

IMG_0801

2 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, dogs, food, photos, Ranch life, Uncategorized, Wordless Wednesday

Kumquat Marmalade

Marmalade is good.

Marmalade is good.

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time you will know that one of my many obsessions hobbies includes gardening. My gardening extends to tree growing as well, in fact, my yard’s fence is made out of dwarf citrus trees. All kinds! From naval orange to kumquats to citrons, I have a nice variety.

I was forced to pick all of my citrus this week because of the rare cold snap we’ve had here in Northern California. I’ve actually had to wear two pairs of yoga pants to do my chores in the morning. Anyway, I have a glut of citrus and I was scrabbling to find recipes to use all my citrus up. I made citrus curd. I made salted lemons – it was time for marmalade.

2 cups of chopped kumquat.

2 cups of chopped kumquat.

Since I am not a huge fan of eating plain ole kumquats, I thought the perfect application would be marmalade. Off the the Ball Blue Canning Book I went and found:

Kumquat Marmalade

2 cups thinly sliced kumquats

1 1/2 cups chopped orange pulp

1 1/2 cups sliced orange peel

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 quarts water

sugar

Use a sharp knife, it will make cutting these little suckers easier.

Use a sharp knife, it will make cutting these little suckers easier.

Combine everything except the sugar in a large saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and let stand overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning, place your mixture back in a saucepan and cook rapidly until your peels are soft. Measure your mixture and add equal amount of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Bring to a boil, stirring often to the gelling point.

I used almost 8 cups of sugar for this recipe - be aware.

I used almost 8 cups of sugar for this recipe – be aware.

Remove from heat, skim foam and place in sterilized jars. Process in a water-bath canner for 10 minutes.

Cooking jam is so pretty.

Cooking jam is so pretty.

These looked amazing too:

Sunday Morning Kumquat Jam 

Small Batch Kumquat Marmalade 

Kumquat Marmalade 

5 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe, Uncategorized

Buddha Hand Citron Infused Vodka

I’ve waited a year to do this post. This topic spawned my new obsession with dwarf citrus trees (I have 13 and counting). What do I have my panties in a bunch over, you ask?

20111121-202806.jpg

Buddha Hand Citron. Cthulhu fruit.  I finally got my hands on one. I planted the tree in my yarden, but it’s going to be at least another year until it produces. Plus it might get a whisper too hot up here for it to produce. But I can hope.

What is it? Well, it’s a member of the citrus family.  It’s a citron. Citron are known for their aroma. The Buddha hand is yellow when ripe and has numerous “fingers”.

It smells amazing. In China and Japan it is used as an air freshener. My house smells so good, I totally see why. My hands still smell like it hours after cutting it up, it’s just glorious.

20111121-202822.jpg

The Buddha hand is one of the oldest members of the citrus family. As you will see in the pictures below, the fruit contains no pulp, juice or seeds. It’s just skin and pith. The pith isn’t bitter like that of a lemon or orange. The pith tasteless really, not bad, but not something I would take a great deal of joy in eating. However, the zest is out of this world. It’s like a lemon, but not sour, and flower-ey? Does that make sense? Any way you can use the zest for a variety of things; you can candy it, make salad dressing and flavorings, and my personal favorite, infuse BOOZE!!!!!!

20111121-202843.jpg

You will need:

Bottles

Buddha Hand Citrons

A sharp knife

Vodka

20111121-202853.jpg

Wash your citron really well. Slice  in half and slowly start removing the skin. I generally use a vegetable peeler to zest citrus but I couldn’t find mine! So I used a knife. It took forever. But it smelled glorious so it was totally worth it.

20111121-202902.jpg

Look it’s giving me the finger! Sorry, I had to.

20111121-202911.jpg

Slice the zest into thin strips.

20111121-202921.jpg

Place in your bottle.

20111121-202943.jpg

This is the pith from ONE citron. One.

20111121-202955.jpg

Zest in bottles.

20111121-203012.jpg

Take the little cap thing off the big bottle O’vodka, it makes things a lot easier.

20111121-203020.jpg

Cover the zest with the vodka, tighten your lids and store in a cool dark place for at least 30 days, making sure to shake it daily. Strain through cheesecloth and make yourself a martini, girl!

6 Comments

Filed under Ag, food, photos, Recipe

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

4 lemons (I use Meyer, because that is what we grow on the ranch)

1 3/4 cups vanilla sugar (it’s just a jar of sugar that I have placed a few vanilla beans in)

1/2 cup butter (at room temp)

4 eggs (at room temp)

3/4 cup lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

Peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler, be careful not to get the white pith, it’s bitter.

 

While you’re at it, go ahead and juice your lemons. Just get all the messy parts out of the way.

Add the sugar and lemon peel to your cuisinart and pulse until the lemon is finely minced.

It should look like this! And it smells super good!

Cream the butter and lemon sugar. Add the eggs, one by one, until fully incorporated, then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.

(It looks curdled! But it’s ok, it melts together.)

Add the curd to a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium/low heat until a thermometer reads 170. Stir constantly, being careful never to let the mixture reach above a simmer. The curd will thicken at 170 degrees F. It should take around 10  minutes.

Let cool and refrigerate. I love to use lemon curd with puff pastry, in filled cookies, on toast, off the spoon.

2 Comments

Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe, Uncategorized