Cooking with calamodins

Suzy11October 27, 2013

I am getting ready to first batch of calamodin marmalade. I have a microwavable recipe. Can you freeze the rind and orange segments? Do you use the juice and empty orange segments in making marmalade? The recipe calls for about two cups of orange pieces. So I don't know how many calamodins. That is why I thought that freezing might help

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johnorange

Suzy, I have frozen the pure' of the entire fruit. It keeps well that way but I never tried freezing separate parts of the fruit nor have I made marmalade so maybe someone else can help with that part of your questions. I could be wrong but I'm guessing the peeled fruit would freeze fine but we all know what happens to the peel on the intact fruit when the fruit is on the tree and it freezes.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 4:11PM
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Suzy11

John what does pure' mean? Yes a forgot, I do know about frozen rind. My first Meyer had a few frozen lemons. Some turned black or white. Do you know if you can freeeze rind off the fruit?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 8:32PM
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johnmerr(11)

okay... citrus being frozen on the tree is not the same as freezing citrus that is ripe and harvested.
The physiology is a different dynamic.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 12:27AM
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johnorange

Suzy, I mean putting the whole fruit in the blender for a while to reduce it to tiny bits :>) You would probably want to cut the fruit in half first to remove the seeds. I think they are edible but not easy to chew.

Johnmerr, I know some have experimented with freezing whole fruit....is there a way to do it without turning the peel to a watery, bitter smush?

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:49AM
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johnmerr(11)

John,

I only have experience with the Meyer. You can freeze the juice for a year in ziplock freezer bags; and it will be the same when you thaw it; and it won't separate like orange juice or some other lemons. It is why they concentrate orange juice before freezing. You can also freeze the peel the same (just peel it off with a good quality vegetable peeler; over time the peel will discolor a little; but the flavor and quality say the same. I make most of my "zest" recipes from frozen peel; and you don't have to grate it fresh from the fruit, as the white part of the Meyer is not bitter like the Eureka. I just chop it finely, or put it in a food processor.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 1:54PM
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Suzy11

Thank you guys. I don't think that Calamodins have very much white

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:33PM
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johnorange

I recently decided to thin the fruit on my calamondin to reduce weight on the top branches. I am more interested in a nice shaped tree than fruit at this stage. I juiced half of them and have a quart of juice. Fruit with only a shade of yellow or orange on the peel are all still very much orange on the inside. I eat the things whole once in a while just for a vitimin C boost and I know they are sour but the relatively sweeter peel helps cut the edge a tiny bit. The juice by itself is so sour my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I read it's good diluted for a hair rinse. I'm not sure why I need a hair rinse since I keep my hair short but I'm trying it to see if there is any benefit. I'm planning to make a pie with some juice, and I spread the peels and other juicing discard around my blueberry bush to hopefully help acidify the soil around it. The juice is a gorgeous color orange so it's a shame it's not more palatable without some serious sugar added.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 5:03PM
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johnorange

I finished juicing some calamondins last night and took a few photos. I tried a lemon/lime mechanical press-style juicer but calamondins are too small. Ultimately, I cut them in half and just hand-squeezed them.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 9:41AM
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johnorange

I got over a quart of juice. I froze two sets of ice trays and had enough left to make a pie.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 9:45AM
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johnorange

The pie recipe calls for 1/3 cup of juice (lemon in the original recipe) but I think you should increase to 1/2 cup. I used 1/3 cup last night since calamondins have such a strong flavor and are reeeallly sour, but the filling was still way too mild. Stay with lemons! The lemon pies taste a lot better. Suzy, have you tried your calamondin marmalade yet?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 9:50AM
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raee_gw

I made calamondin marmalade last year. Just quartered and seeded the fruit and cooked it, flesh and peels together. It turned out very well!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 12:57PM
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johnorange

raee, it's good to know it worked...there is a flavor from calamondins I'm just not quite in love with. It's a bummer too because a neighbor has a huge tree and gives me all I want about this time of year. On top of that, mine is producing now. I blended the juice with lemon and made a few pies that were good. The jam I made was just too....too "calamondony".

    Bookmark   November 12, 2013 at 2:07PM
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apg4

Not to hijack the thread...but I've had a calamondin for 45 years - and this fall, it has its biggest crop ever. Just finished making limoncello with my cousin's organic lemons, so I thought I might try some orancello....

The limoncello recepies call for just the yellow part of the peel, since the bitter flavors are concentrated in the white pith. Calamondins don't have much 'white', but then they are too soft to zest. I've always considered the peel to be the more flavorful portion of the fruit.

Experimentation is imminent, but wondering if anyone had any suggestions beforehand....

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:04PM
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johnorange

apg4, let us know how it turns out! I personally would love to hear how others have found ways to use calamondins. It makes so many fruit and those who don't like them often share...hopefully we can find some great ways to use them. I personally think the flavor is a bit strong so maybe blending them with other ingredients as you would use a spice might be recommended. You might be on to something trying to use just the peel. To keep from wasting the rest of the fruit, we might be able to use the juice as a substitute for battery acid :>)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 5:23PM
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apg4

Indeed. They are sour enough to kill a normal adult...but the grand-daughter eats 'em with both hands, and loves to pick ALL she can hold.

Made limoncello a bunch of times. The secret is to use grain alcohol, not vodka. You need a high-proof "solvent" to extract the volatile oil from the fruit and vodka ain't high enough. It's summertime in a glass, especially in the dead of winter, sitting in the greenhouse. I'll try a test batch this weekend....

Cheers

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 11:21PM
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apg4

Picked two dozen calamondins this morning - about 1 1/3 pounds - which made about a half-quart mason jar of loosely packed peels. (The fruit was left whole for eventual squeezin'.) Added a whole quart of EverClear - 190 proof grain alcohol. Color started extracting almost immediately.

I usually leave the lemon peels to macerate for several months, but many folks just do it for a week or two. Now every mom'n'pop tratatoria along the Amalfi coast makes their own, typically using grappa - a rude spirit made from fermented grape pommace left over after wine grape pressing and then distilled. It's more akin to "white lightning" than anything else.

Plenty of calamondins left....

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 1:48PM
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apg4

After just three days of maceration, the liquid is an amazingly vivid orange. Hopefully, flavor is being extracted along with the color: It almost looks radioactive.... Indeed, the color is reminiscent of "fiesta" potteryware with that bright orange, uranium oxide glaze.

Yeah, companies actually made and sold radioactive bowls....

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 2:11PM
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johnorange

apg, I guess I unwittingly made some lemoncello last year trying to extract the aromatic oils from lemon peel. I sliced the colored part off and soaked it in vodka for several months. It smelled pretty good and turned a nice yellow but I didn't taste it. It doesn't seem right to drink something an automobile can run on :>)

I have the ingredients for a recipe I plan to try soon with calamondins. I think I'll include at least some peel for color and flavor. My neighbor's tree is surely loaded by now and I would like to be able to use them if I can.

I'm shotgunning topics in this post but I just transferred the last tray of calamondin juice (no skin) from the ice cube trays and into a zip-loc bag. The cubes are just as orange as orange juice and are reeeally sticky. There must be some fruit sugar in calamondin juice but can you imagine how sour the stuff would be without its own natural sugar content??? I'm still wondering how to use the frozen cubes. It might make a fun drinking game. The longer your drink sets, the more sour it gets....I'm not so sure it would be good to the last drop!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 3:41PM
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apg4

You really need grain alcohol for it to work and extract all the volatile oils and aromatics. Vodka is only half-strength....

After the peels macerate - could be anywhere from a week to a year - strain and dilute 4:1 or so with a simple syrup. Starting alcohol is 95% - with final product at about 25%.

The calamondin stuff is right promising....

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Suzy11

Jusst made marmade using the fruit all except for seeds and brown sugar. It was great!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:04PM
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johnorange

Here is last night's experiment. Two packages of dark chocolate dessert cups, 1 philadelphia cream cheese, 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 cup calamondin juice (no peel), and 1/3 cup kumquat pure' (blended whole fruit), 2 tsp lemon zest. Mix cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until it's smooth, add lemon zest, calamondin juice, and kumquat pure' and mix well but not longer than necessary because the mixture will begin to thicken once the acidic juices are added. Spoon into the chocolate cups and refrigerate. I had some fresh blueberries so I added one on top for decoration.

II poured the remaining mixture into a pie crust.

Some of you real cooks can surely improve on this but the cup I tried last night was good. Who could go wrong mixing dark chocolate and citus?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 9:51AM
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apg4

...and the results of another experiment are in....

After only a week of maceration, I made a half-gallon of orancello using a mere two dozen calamondins. The peels and remaining EverClear filled a quart mason jar; the supernatant liquid was water-clear but intensely orange. It was diluted with a simple syrup made of a pint of sugar and two pints of water. As this was added, the liquid changed from clear to opaque, as the volatile oils came out of solution and went into suspension. (Many oil-based liquors, like ouzo and absinth, do this.)

The results were amazing... intense orange - or rather a tangerine-like - flavor. There's market potential here....

Cheers

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 3:51PM
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eahamel(9a)

I made limoncello last year and was not impressed with it. May try it again this year with a different recipe.

I have a Food Saver and froze some quartered lemons last year and they are still in the bag and look as good as they did when I picked them. I kept some in a plastic bag and take a piece out whenever I need it. Someone said freezing lemons isn't the same as having them freeze on the tree, and they're right, I've had that happen, too. Uck.

If you have or can get kumquats, the Nagami, they make a wonderful preserve. Very fast and delicious.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 5:59PM
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apg4

Going into full production...picked 5.25 pounds of calamondins, and there are still plenty left on the tree. Dual fruit: the peels go into 3.5 liters of EverClear for orancello and the fruit gets processed into marmalade. That takes care of a bunch of Christmas presents.... ;-)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 12:30AM
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johnorange

Suzy and eahamel....can y'all share a recipe or link to one? Seems like I always overcook foods like figs and citrus that includes the peels trying to make sure no mold or fungus makes it through alive to haunt my jelly later. I like the sound of the calamondin without the peel. Must be gorgeous!

I'm not crazy about alcohol but I wonder if apg is doing the first step of an essential oil extraction. I'm thinking you would have to go one more step to distill off the alcohol and concentrate the aromatic oils.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 10:03AM
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johnorange

It was a cold, wet Thanksgiving period so I stayed inside and made a couple of loaves of Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Cake....you should be able to Google the recipe. It requires 1/3 cup of lemon zest!

Here is the zesting and juicing mess! I juiced/zested seven lemons and got about 1/2 cup of zest and a little over a quart of juice. The recipe only calls for 1 cup of lemon juice so I added the remaining lemon juice to a half gallon of Grovestand (not from concentrate) orange juice for drinking. If that doesn't get you started in the morning, nothing will!

This post was edited by johnorange on Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 10:08

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 10:11AM
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johnorange

Here are the loaves...it's kind of like a lemony pound cake. You may wish to reduce the recommended cooking temperature and extend the cook time if you cook it in loaves like these. They tend to be undercooked. Once cooked and removed from the loaf pans, you drizzle a simple syrup from 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar over the loaves while they are still warm. The recipe calls for an additional glaze but I don't think it's needed.

This post was edited by johnorange on Thu, Dec 5, 13 at 10:10

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 10:16AM
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johnorange

Here is the best part!
It goes great with a little vanilla ice cream, some whipped cream, and a relative recommended trying it with lemon curd. Woohoo!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 10:18AM
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punky1991

Here is my calamondin can't wait till it starts to fruit so I can try some recipes

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 1:30AM
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