It’s still mango madness at our local organic produce store where I went to search for end-of-season organic kumquats. Lovely yellow “champagne” mangos in great stacks. So tempting. I was planning on poaching kumquats in the heavy syrup left over from the spiced mangos that I canned last week and was considering a mango chutney or jam, when I discovered a Monica Bhide (Modern Spice) recipe for “Kumquat and Mango Chutney with Onion Seeds.” The so-called onion seeds are nigella, sometimes referred to as black cumin. I didn’t have any nigella or a good solution for obtaining some on short notice, so I used cumin seed instead, probably producing a different taste altogether.
Bhide recommended using a cup of pureed canned mango as the base, but with the mountains of fresh mangos in the market, I used two ripe yellow fruit, yielding 1½ cups of puree. I sliced the kumquats crosswise into 3/32-inch disks, picking out the pesky small seeds as I went. I added a little salt, which brings up the flavor, and probably should have added a touch more pepper. This is a good balance between sweet and tart, a balance I would like to strike as we head into canning season with rhubarb and strawberries coming right along. I can imagine this as a condiment for fried dumplings but it’s also going to be good on toast!
The original recipe suggested storing the chutney in an airtight container in the refrigerator, but this has enough sugar and acid content, so I processed most of it in a water bath canner. It yielded 6 4 oz jars.
Kumquat Mango Jam adapted from Monica Bhide
2 ripe champagne mangos, peeled and pureed (to yield about 1½ c puree)
12 oz (1 dry pint) organic, preferably unwaxed kumquats
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp nigella seeds (I substituted cumin seed)
1 tsp fennel seed
1 c sugar
½ c distilled white vinegar
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼-½ tsp salt
If you are canning this via a water bath process, prepare the kettle, jars and lids.
Peel and puree the mango in a food processor. Measure our 1½ c (This doesn’t have to be precise.)
Wash, dry and slice the kumquats into slices that are just under 1/8-inch thick, picking out the seeds as you go.
Warm the oil in a deep pan and add the nigella and fennel seeds. When they’re sizzling, add the mango, kumquat, sugar, vinegar, red pepper flakes and ½ tsp salt, stirring to combine. Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, until it is thick like jam. Taste and add a little more salt to spark the flavor if necessary.
If you’re keeping this in the refrigerator, let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container, for up to three weeks.
If you’re canning, it, ladle the hot jam into hot jars and seal with sterilized lids. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (for 4 oz or 8 oz jars) after the water comes to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid, and let sit for 5 minutes before moving the jars to the counter to sit undisturbed until cool,
Makes about 1½ c or six 4 oz jars.
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