When my brother handed me a big bag of lilikoi (passionfruit) from his garden, I thought I'd make a batch of jam with it. First, though, I made two batches of lilikoi curd, which used up most of the juice, and then while looking for something else in the freezer, I found a bag of calamansi that had already been prepped. Both fruits are tart, with floral notes, so I thought it might work well as a combination. I also had a box of Sure-Jell Low Sugar Pectin that needed to be used, and I figured this was a good time to. The low sugar version still uses more sugar than I like in lilikoi jelly, but with the extra sharpness of the calamansi rinds, the added sweetness would be welcomed. The result has the chewy shreds of rind you expect in a marmalade, with plenty of lightly sweet jelly to offset it. The ratio of calamansi to liliko'i juice was based on what I had on hand; if I do this again, I think I would use more liliko'i juice so that more of the flavor could come through.
RECIPE: Calamansi-Lilikoi Marmalade
2 1/2 cups calamansi, juiced and julienned (see recipe notes)
2 cups fresh liliko'i juice (see recipe notes)
2 ½ cups sugar
1 packet Sure-Jell low sugar pectin (pink box)
- Mix 1/4 cup sugar with packet of pectin
- Bring calamansi, lilikoi juice, and sugar-pectin mixture to rolling boil
- Stir in remaining sugar
- Return to rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly
Remove from heat. Skim off any foam (this is edible, just not pretty). Pour into clean jars, to within 1/8” of the rim. Wipe rims clean and screw on lids. If water-bath canning, process for 5 minutes. Yield: 6 cups.
This is a softly set jam that will firm up over a few days, or with canning.
For fresh liliko'i juice, start with the whole fruit. Use a serrated knife to cut through the shells. The pulp is full of seeds; each seed is encased in a little sack of juice. Either freeze to rupture the sacs (then thaw in the fridge) or run through a blender on low (try to avoid busting up the seeds too much - they are edible, but can have sharp edges when broken). Strain through a sieve, or use a jelly bag if you want it to be clear and pretty.
To prepare the calamansi, I find it much easier to slice if I've juiced it first. I usually set a mesh strainer over a bowl or large measuring cup (like an 8-cup Pyrex) next to the chopping board. Slice each fruit in half across the equator, then squeeze the juice and seeds into the strainer. Trim off any stems, and then flatten the fruit halves and julienne. If you want a clear jelly, strain the juice through a jelly bag to remove the bits of pulp. For this recipe, to soften the rind a bit more, either freeze the shredded rind and juice until solid and then thaw, or simmer the rind and juice for about 15 minutes before adding the liliko'i juice and the sugar-pectin mixture.
If you don't want to use pectin, you don't really need to, as the calamansi rind has enough to set the marmalade. The main benefit of using pectin here is to have a short cooking time that keeps the liliko'i tasting fresh and bright, and I prefer the low-sugar version as the amount of sugar needed for the regular packaged pectin takes over the flavor and instead of a pleasant, mouth-watering tartness, it's just sweet. Pomona Pectin, which also works for low-sugar recipes, can be used instead of Sure-Jell. I have a basic citrus marmalade formula that could be used with no added pectin, but with the amount of time it takes to cook, the liliko'i flavor would be seriously diminished. You could go 100% calamansi, using calamansi juice instead of liliko'i instead.
White cane sugar was used for this batch. Turbinado/raw sugar can add a nice caramel note and would be a good option. I have not tried using artificial sweeteners for jams and marmalades, but you can read more about that in the Food in Jars Canning 101 (Food in Jars is website that is a great resource and inspiration for all kinds of canning!). Pomona Pectin includes information about how to use alternative sweeteners (including agave and stevia) in their product FAQ, and there are recipes for using Sure-Jell Low Sugar with Splenda (but I don't know how to adapt those for use with this recipe).