What to do with all that Calamondin fruit???

sydneylanier(z7GA/Cumming)June 14, 2005

I have a dozen or so citrus trees that I grow on my deck most of the year. The trees spend the coldest days of winter in the garage coming out only on those above 28 degree days. This year my calamondin has produced a bumper crop. I know what to do with the lemons - squeeze and freeze the juice, make pies and tarts, etc. Grapefruit we eat as it ripens. But what can I do with all those calamondins? Does anyone have any recipes? Can you make marmalade (so many big seeds!)? Can it be substituted for sour orange and be used to make marinades and mojo sauce? Or should I just enjoy the fruit and send it to the compost pile when it starts to rot and fall of the tree? Thanks in advance.

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Here are a bunch of recipes for you. Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 12:49PM
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I leave them on the tree until they develop a more reddish orange color. I think the difference is clear once you see it. Then I eat them. Once they get that reddish orange color they are sweeter (But always very tart). Sometimes I eat them plain, sometimes I cut them in half and dip the cut end in sugar or honey, sometimes I slice them and let them soak in the sugar or honey for a while. The seeds pop out easily with the tip of a knife.

As a note of caution, I also eat small slivers of lemons and limes (not the peel as you would with a calamondin), but I like Calamondins better - they are more complex and a little sweeter, I think.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 1:30PM
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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

I use Calamondins in tea, soda, seltzers - just squeeze several and drop the whole fruit right in the glass. It makes an excellent marinade for chicken or fish. I squeeze the biggest ones and make fruit ice cubes out of them.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 9:04AM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

A simple recipe is add ice cubes and sugar to your squezed calamondin.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 10:33AM
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terryboc(z5 NH)

I have tried a cake recipe that uses the fruit in both the cake and the glaze-delicious! One word of warning though-make sure you remove the ribs, otherwise you get a "chewy" puree. Remove the seeds too! You can then sprout them and get new baby trees to boot. I'd bake it in a bundt pan and drizzle the glaze down the sides. If you bake it in a square pan, the glaze will pool in the center or edges, depending on how the cake rises.

I swiped this recipe from Orient Magazine, but it is posted on other web sites as well.

1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1 small package of lemon jello, or lime jello
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup of calamondin puree*
4 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cup oil
1 tbsp. lemon extract

Combine above cake ingredients, adding eggs one at a time. Beat 4 minutes medium speed.
Pour into greased/floured bundt pan (or 9"x12" pan or 2 bread loaf pans).
Bake until done in 350 degree heat for 30-45 minutes.
Cool, prick top and pour glaze over.
To Make Calamondin Puree:

Wash 14-16 calamondins. DO NOT PEEL the fruit.
Quarter the fruit, remove seeds, and center rib.
Puree or put through a food processor.
Set aside 1/2 cup for the glaze.
To Make Glaze:

1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsps. lemon extract
1/2 cup puree
1/8 tsp. salt
Mix ingredients well and pour over top and sides of cake.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 9:54AM
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Squeeze them and substitute the juice in your favorite Lemon Meringue Pie receipe. I do and it is delicious!!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 11:17PM
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I met a guy years ago near Melbourne, FL who has just six 8-foot calamondin trees planted in the ground. He makes 'kalamansi' nectar and supplies Filipino stores under the brand Sunny Bear Kalamansi Juice concentrate.

He harvests the fruit before they are very ripe (more ripe = less juice), washes them very thoroughly under running water, slices the fruits manually and squeezes them. Next he filters the juice to remove all seeds and debris.

He then prepares a concetrated syrup to which he adds the juice to attain a certain final concentration so that, say, 1 tsp of his product per cup of water, makes the "right" juice for drinking. I cannot remember the exact recipe but that should depend on how sweet or tart you want your product to be.

Finally, he fills plastic containers and pasteurizes the fruit juice concentrate. After cooling, he attaches his label. He produces a few dozen 8- or 12-oz bottles at a time and has steady demand from Filipino stores in Chicago and California. I do not know what the demand for this juice beverage is among non-Filipinos.

You may supply a few oriental stores in the Buford, GA area. Even if you don't get a lot of money for your fruit, you might go home with some other oriental products (egg roll, soy sauce, fresh mushrooms, herbs, whatever) in exchange. I used to grow shiitake and oyster mushroom for a hobby and was usually overwhelmed when they would all produce at the same time. So I gave some to my favorite oriental store and they would give me back something in return or let me have a couple of items in my shoppping cart for free. Not bad for barter.

I keep one potted plant in my greenhouse at work and the 4-ft plant supplies just enough for all my family's culinary needs. There is often a little extra to go around to my other Filipino friends. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 12:58PM
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Calamondin is best if it is still green in color. Squeeze the juice out and use it with soy sauce or fish sauce as a condiment for beef stew, chicken stew. Or you could combine it with barbecue sauce. Also a good marinade for grilled fish, grilled pork chop.

Here is a link that might be useful: Calamondin facts

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 7:10PM
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Fish_Man(z9 FL)

here is an easy marmalade recipe that works great. Cut your fruit and take out all the seeds that you can, don't worry about getting all of them. Chop the fruit skin and all (I use a food processor on pulse), it is not important how fine you chop. Add even amounts of chopped fruit and water to a heavy pot and heat until it boils, skimm off foam, and cook for about 30 minutes, use as low a heat as will keep it boiling. Take the pot off the heat and add two times as much sugar as you started with fruit (yes that much) heat slowly and stir all the time, any seeds will float to the top and you can skimm them off. Boil unitl the temperature reaches 121 degrees F, hot fill jars and you have a real treat.

1 part chopped fruit
1 part water
2 parts sugar

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 8:51PM
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I'm not a big marmalade person but I love it made with calamondins. In fact I've purchased a bunch of 15 gallon trees for this reason. I have my whole family addicted to it and everyone is waiting for the next batch.

I use the juice on seafood sometimes, although I prefer key lime it's a nice change. Try marinating chicken, ribs, duck with fresh herbs and juice. Then grill or BBQ.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 7:36AM
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I grate the rinds to add to my orange/cranberry muffins.


    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 3:18PM
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Give them to the people holding cardboard signs on just about every stree corner. Especially the old stand by "Will Work For Food" - Millet

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 2:50PM
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I think we need a co-op so to speak. All these people with fruit and all these other people who want fruit. Also I'm sure there are people who will take fruit, make preserves and give some back. I sent a woman a large box of calamondins last year and she sent me back marmalade. It was a deal..only 8 bucks in postage.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 3:05PM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

What about the guy who hold the sign: " Why lie? I need money for a beer!" (LOL) Just kidding Millet. But I see a sign like that truly.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 6:21PM
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eyeckr(z8a VA)

Along with many other fellow members here, I have enjoyed making a Calamondin-ade juice drink. It takes a bit of work to squeeze all of those little guys but the taste makes up for it in the end. Here's a pic...

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 10:32PM
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Laaz(z8b SC)

Damn a lot of work there. How much sugar do you add to a gallon of juice ?

Benny I need money for beer all the time ;)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 10:37PM
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eyeckr..I must say it looks pretty darn good..Dale

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 10:42PM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

So am I.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 10:00AM
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eyeckr(z8a VA)

Laaz -I'm not sure how much sugar I end up putting in a gal of juice maybe 3/4 -1 cup. I do dilute the juice w/ some water though.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 1:05PM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

Just taste the juice at your hearts content until you are satisfiied of the mix.
I have my kids be the taster.
A long time ago when the cals were scarce, I had about 10 cal fruit and after I used the juice up for cooking I gathered all the rinds and put it in a glass filled it with icecubes and the rest water and add 2 tbspn of sugar thinking that I can have a juicy cal juice of my own. When I was ready to drink it my youngest asked me if he could TASTE it and after he asked me if he could have it. What can I say? I just drooled and gave it to him.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 3:13PM
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Laaz(z8b SC)

Thanks eyeckr & Benny I have about 100 fruit ready right now...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 4:15PM
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Is Calamondin the sour kumquat? Or is it just the sour orange?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 12:30AM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

Calamondin is a different tree of its own. Native of the Philippines. Kumquat is a different species. Sometimes cal is called a sour orange.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 2:33AM
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terryboc(z5 NH)

I happen to like to eat them whole and spit out the seeds. I do that with my key limes as well, especially when the crop is scarce. They don't even make it into the house. I get a strange thrill eating those sour little oranges knowing that I grew them myself.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 11:11AM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

Terry: Yikes! Boy, you must be brave. They are very sour. It is best to add salt first or better still, get about 3 or 4 cals squeeze them in an iced glass of filtered water add a full tablespoon of sugar and use them as lemonade er... calade. All my 3 kids love them. OPtion add 1 squezzed fresh orange.
Better still (I've never done this yet) in a blender, add about half full of filtered water, 2 cups of ice and about 20 calamondin all squezzed first in a glass remove the seeds and pour the cals in the blender and add about 1/2 cup of sugar and blend for 30 seconds.
I always do this with my Eureka lemon 1 lemon 3 oranges and 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups ice 2 cups water and blend.
This is a cheap pitcher of beverage. And healthy too.
Bet your kids and family will love it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 11:46AM
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bencelest(z9 CA)

The reason why I don't use 20 cals in a pitcher is because I treasured my cal so much that I thought I could use them better in more ways than one. But now that I have plenty perhaps I will do it now. But then they are so pretty on the tree!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 12:01PM
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Ben, yep, they are pretty on a tree. Did you ever try making the jelly from the CAl citrus?
I too have heard it referred to as a sour orange. Wonder why? LOL..Toni

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 3:22PM
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It is a standard joke in Florida. Every Floridian at some time or another must have a bowl of these for a visitor and entice them to taste the beautiful fruit. It was tried on me and I try it on everyone else.
It is a wonderful fruit for cakes and marmalade. Your visitors will love it. Lots of recipes on the net. I bought my first box at a bazaar when someone put them in a basket with a pretty ribbon and a cake recipe. Yum! It is one of those things like Christmas turkey, you wait for it all year and when they are in season, they are so special. Use the skins for potpourri

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 2:14PM
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newtie(z8+ MS)

Follow Fish Man's recipe above. Calamondins make the world's best marmalade! It's intensely orangey! There is none better. You cook the whole, ripe fruit after chopping. You can slice, chop, whatever, but you don't need to remove the seeds they will float to the top during boiling. You just skim them off. What could be easier? Calamondins are more cold hardy than other oranges and can be grown in zone 8b with protection below 20 deg F. They may defoliate, but they will bounce back. I love calamondins for the great marmalade.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 1:53PM
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tobybul2 - Zone 6 SW MI(6A)

Calamondins are very common in Asia and the tropics and are mainly used when still green, never when it turns orange or ripens. Its mainly used like we use lemon or lime in the US. But that's not to say that there are no other uses for it.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 12:05AM
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