Cooking with Calamodins

Suzy11August 12, 2013

How do you squeeze a calamodin to get juice? They are so small. I am really having trouble And would like to make a pie.

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johnmerr(11)

Well, in the Philippines, where the calamondin is the primary "lemon", some houses have a servant whose only job is to spend the whole day squeezing calamonins (there called Kalamansi); most fruits have more seeds than juice so it takes a whole lot of them to make much juice.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 6:14PM
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Suzy11

Sure does take a long long time. I squeezed about 15 and got two drops. Tit could easily take a day. I need half cup and thought that it may take a month. Thanks for the interesting info john

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 8:25PM
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serge94501

My MIL says that if you are making "Bifstek" (a Filipino dish) you would use the juice of 4 fruits for each serving. People pick them there and use them before they turn orange. Let me say "some" people, because there are lots of variations in cooking and I don't want any feud!!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Suzy11

Do you Pell them by hand or can you use an electric juicer or are they too small?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 11:27PM
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johnmerr(11)

cut them in half and squeeze them by hand; then strain out the juice. IMHO Calamondin are a waste of time; but they are ornamental, and they bear fruit the entire year.. My farm manager has two and he loves them; picks fruit and uses it every day.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 11:50PM
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serge94501

I actually love the juice - I add sugar and/or stevia and make a syrup, then mix it up with my sodastream water. I think it has a great flavor.

I agree, though...it's a lot of work!

They do have a variagated variety now that is quite striking - both the leaves and the fruit have stripes.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 2:44AM
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trianglejohn

I keep mine on the patio just off the kitchen (a potted 3 foot bush) and simply pick and squeeze them into whatever I am making. I get most of the juice and the seeds stay mixed up with the skins and flesh. When they are ripe you can squeeze enough juice from a few of them for most foods. Getting enough juice to have as a juice drink - thats another story.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Suzy11

Do you squeeze manually?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Suzy11

Great info. thank you. My bush is about two and just had his first batch or fruit now. It is loaded. So much that it was almost laying down, It just got flown. So I am looking for ideas. I would love to make a pie, But need a half a cup of juice.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 11:55AM
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johnorange

I'm sorry I can't remember the proportions but I used some pureed ripe calamondin ...all but the seeds...along with the lemon juicein a lemon pie recipe. Calamondin has a strong flavor so the lemon helped mellow it out some.

Here is my tree.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 3:48PM
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serge94501

"I would love to make a pie, But need a half a cup of juice."

Calamondin juice is like citrus concentrate. I think a 1/2 cup of that juice would make an inedible pie!! You will have to experiment with proportions, but either mix it with another juice like John suggests or cut it with some water (or just use less). It is very sour with a strong flavor. 1/2 cup of this 1/2 cup of Palestine Lime for example. Good luck and have fun!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 7:54PM
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trianglejohn

Suzy11 - If you were asking me if I squeeze manually the answer is yes. I just close my hand around the fruit or fruits and squeeze them. The juice runs between my fingers and the skin, flesh and seeds stay in my closed hand. The beauty of calamondin is that a nice sized potted plant just outside the kitchen door can provide you with citrus flavor almost year round. I also like the aroma of calamondin blossoms better than other citrus - its more candy citrus like than lemons or limes or oranges.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:11AM
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Suzy11

trianglejohn I love the smell of the fruit also. I agree they are sour. I have a pie recipe that came with the tree that uses cream cheese and condensed milk with 1/2 cup juice. Can't wait! Just ordered a citrus press that may help with the squezzing

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 2:13PM
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Suzy11

johnorange Nice tree. Mine use to look simalar but because of the weight from many oranges is now leaning. Have to get it repotted. How old is yours?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 2:18PM
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johnorange

Suzy11, an easy recipe I have is probably the same but is for lemon pie. I'm sure you could use parts of lots of other citrus juices to alter the flavor. I believe the acidity of the lemon juice is what causes the mixture to set up so keep that in mind as you play with the recipe. I'm sure calamondin is plenty acidic.
One pkg Original Philadelphia cream cheese
One 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
adding 1-2 teaspoons zest makes the differnce between a good pie and a great pie!

Mix condensed milk and cream cheese until smooth. Add zest and lemon juice and mix until just combined and homogeneous but don't over-mix. Quckly pour into a graham cracker crust. Refrigerate.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 3:09PM
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johnorange

Suzy11, I think my tree is 3-4 years old after being planted from nursery size. I planted it where it gets shaded a bit more than it should under a pecan tree. It hasn't fruited heavily yet but looks like I will get a pretty good crop this year. I'm really surprised it has done as well as it has where I planted it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Suzy11

John orange. Thank you for the recipe it does sound very similar to mine. Mine does not use the zest. I will try it, sounds very good.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 1:49PM
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johnorange

Suzy, I hope it turns out good..as I'm sure it will. I think I would stick with lemon zest even if you substitute in some pureed calamondin for some of the lemon juice. If you puree the calamondins I would expect you would be including the calamondin skin unless you are using them green.

Maybe we should include a dedicated citrus recipes discussion string....

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 2:28PM
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Suzy11

I made the pie. It is great! I used mostly green fruit plus 1/4 teaspoon skin yum! Do you ever use them orange or yellow? A recipe string sounds terrific.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:03PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Suzy, squeeze them manually, they are WAY too small to be able to apply enough downward pressure with an electric juicer - they'll just spin around in your hand. I'm giving you a link to the best manual citrus juicer I've ever used. It's very heavy duty, and squeezes the heck out of citrus. It's great for ladies, as it uses a ratchet, so you get a LOT of leverage, without having to use a lot of hand strength. You cut the citrus in half, then put the citrus in so that the skin is facing up and the flesh facing down (NOT cupping the holder, but opposite of the holder). It looks like you should just plop the 1/2 citrus in the holder, but you don't. You place the 1/2 citrus in, in the opposite direction. That way, when you squeeze, the 1/2 citrus gets squeezed to the point of turning inside out. You'll be able to squeeze enough calamondins to get a 1/2 cup of juice in a jiffy!

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chef n' Freshforce Citrus Juicer

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 11:37PM
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johnorange

Suzy, I'm glad the pie turned out good. I never even thought of using green calamondins...although I have seen remarks here to the effect folks do use them green in places one would use a lemon. I assume you don't get indigestion from eating green citrus or at least green calamondins? I have always used dead ripe calamondins. I'm really glad to hear there are uses for green fruit because I may need to thin the fruit from my tree soon.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Suzy11

I had to thin the fruit. My tree had over 100 calamodins was badly leaning. So I cut green off and used them. The pie turned out well. What do you mean by dead ripe? Orange? Do you think that you can freeze zest?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 12:28PM
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johnorange

Maybe "dead ripe" is a bit regional in usage, yes, meaning not even the least bit green. I have frozen lemon zest quite sucessfully. It will frost some but it doesn't seem to hurt the flavor. I packed the lemon zest tightly in a 1/2 cup bowl and put the lid on. I thaw it just enough to scrape out enough zest for the recipe and put the rest back in the freezer. I froze some with juice poured over the zest to remove the air spaces but I haven't used it yet. I suspect it will be difficult to use except by thawing the entire container.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Suzy11

Sounds good than& you

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:13PM
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Suzy11

I also have been told and have used them greenish yellow. Do you use them yellow?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 9:19PM
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johnorange

I try to pick them as ripe as I can get them for eating as fruit. They are really sour even then. I don't know if I could eat anything more sour :>) I don't have any experience with greenish or yeellow fruit but this will be the first year I've had to consider thinning to keep the shape of my tree.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:00PM
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johnorange

Alright, we all agree calamondins are really sour and many folks use green ones like lemons. They are hard to eat as fresh fruit but probably loaded with vitimins. Do we need to worry about eating them raw on a regular basis and etching the enamel off our teeth? I suspect we do since they are obviously quite acidic. Is there a way to reduce the acidity without adding a bunch of sweetener? Should we gargle a glass of milk after eating them? Any dentists present in our group?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:07PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

John, adding a bunch of sugar or sweetener doesn't reduce the acidity - that remains - it just makes it more palatable. Not sure how you would be able to safely (or palatably) reduce the acid in citrus that are considered high-acid (limes, lemons, calamondins, etc.) And yes, eating a lot of high-acid citrus can damage tooth enamel.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:48PM
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johnorange

Patty, right you are as usual...always just thought if sour was reduced, so was acidity. In my research of fruit pH, I ran across this site which appears to be a recipe for making a cosmetic product containing kalamonsi (calamondin).
http://www.in-cosmetics.com/__novadocuments/2520

The site includes some references containing a summary of lots of uses for calamondins beyond cooking.

I have copy/pasted just enough so you can research more on topics you are interested in.

The fruit is best used when mature and still green but can also be used when fully ripe (yellow to orange in color). The extremely juicy and highly acid pulp has a particularly distinct, aromatic smell and taste. The fruit juice is an ingredient in numerous local beverages, cakes, sauces, and marmalades.

The crushed fruit is used for hair masks, or the juice is applied to the scalp after shampooing. It is also reported to eliminate itching.
The juice has been used to clear up acne vulgaris; and it should be noted that the essential oils from kalamansi have shown promising results against Staphylococcus aureus. It is often used in body deodorant applications.

Due to its richness in natural citric acid, the juice also has a lightening effect on the skin complexion and has been reported to bleach freckles and treat pigmentation problems.

Here is a link to one of the very informative references
Florida Food Fair, Mary King
http://sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/FCS/FlaFoodFare/Calamondin.pdf
Be sure and check that reference if you are looking for calamondin recipes! Here is a paragraph from that site with general use:
Use & Preparation: The juice of the calamondin can be used like lemon or lime to make refreshing beverages, to flavor fish, to make cakes, marmalades, pies, preserves, sauces, and to use in soups and teas. Thin slices can be used to garnish punch bowls, noodle dishes, meat and fish. In Asia, calamondins are even used in hand washing bowls. The juice can be frozen in containers or in ice cube trays, then storing the frozen cubes in plastic freezer bags. Use a few cubes at a time to make calamondinade. The juice of the calamondin also makes an excellent hair conditioner. Pour 1 liter of boiling water over thinly sliced fruit. Let it steep. When water is cool, pour through the hair as a final rinse.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:49PM
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kriklaf

This may be common knowledge, but I have access to some calamondins (which I thought for years were kumquats), and although the fruit is very sour, the rind (at least when ripe) is pleasantly sweet. Eating a whole fruit, rind and all, is still a little pucker-inducing, but it's a better balance than just eating the pulp.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 2:42PM
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