Kumquats are tiny, tart, intensely fragrant citrus fruits that, when perfectly ripe, can be popped right into your mouth whole-seeds, tender peel and all. They also make fine marmalades and relishes that are wonderful with roast pork, ham and poultry (especially roast duck).
The candied fruit can be served as is or combined with cranberries, raspberries or any chopped fruit for a very nice fruit side dish. They can also be added to savory sauces to accompany roasted meats and make a very fine accompaniment for roast duck. The intense orange flavored syrup is something special, too. I love adding it to cocktails, Margaritas in particular, or soaking layers of yellow cake before frosting.
The recipe below calls for 8 ounces of fresh kumquats, the usual size of a pre-packaged container you’ll most likely find in a supermarket. If you’re lucky enough to have a kumquat tree in your backyard, this recipe can be increased as needed. The candied kumquats may then be canned in a water bath, if desired, for future use. The candied fruit and syrup both make excellent gifts around the holidays.
If you are a fan of traditional orange marmalades, you’ll definitely love the vibrant nature of kumquats. Because the skins are so tender on kumquats, they don’t require long cooking or special prep work.
8 oz. fresh kumquats
1 cup white sugar
½ cup water
Remove any stems or leaves on the fruit. Slice in half and quarter any large fruits. With the tip of a sharp knife, flick away any larger seeds. Don’t worry if any small ones remain.
Place the fruit in a saucepan with the sugar and water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour or until the skins become tender and translucent.
Store covered in a sterile jar in the refrigerator. Keeps in the refrigerator for several weeks. Makes about 1 cup of candied fruit in heavy syrup