Thursday, December 31, 2009

Making Candied Kumquats

candied kumquats
I've always been curious about Kumquats, and can still recall the first time I laid eyes on one. I was probably six or seven years old, the place was Long Wood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I remember "liberating" a kumquat from a small tree inside one of their massive conservatories. (Some children steal toys, I stole curious foods.) After trying unsuccessfully to peel it, I ended up popping the entire thing into my mouth. Since then, I've been hooked.

candied kumquats 2
I actually really enjoy the sweet sharp tang of the kumquat peel and so I don't mind munching on them raw. However, I've heard they were excellent candied so this was my project for this particular batch from the grocery store. Hopefully one day I'll be able to pick fresh kumquats straight from my very own dwarf tree. I plan on purchasing one from Four Winds Growers sometime soon.

candied kumquats 3
I started off by slicing about 4 cups of kumquats crosswise into quarter inch pieces. Then came the tedious task of removing all of the seeds with a toothpick. In a small pot, I heated 2 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt for a few minutes until the sugar was dissolved. Then I added the kumquats and simmered the mixture uncovered on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, I placed the cooked kumquats to a bowl and boiled the liquid on medium-high heat for another 10 minutes until it reduced to a more syrupy consistency. (Don't over do it. The syrup will thicken as it cools.) Finally, I added the kumquats back in.

candied kumquats 4
I spooned most of candied kumquats and syrup into an airtight jar to be stored in the back of the refrigerator where they will keep for a long time. The rest, I processed for 10 ten minutes inside a water-bath canner and will save for a rainy day.

As the jars cool, the candied kumquats will plump-up as they absorb the sweet and slightly-tart syrup. I like a bit of bite to them so I didn't simmer the kumquats for too long. Next time, however, I think I'll try to candy them whole and cook them for a longer period of time (an hour or two) to see if they are better that way. For those who particularly love the citrus rind in marmalade, these candied kumquats are definitely worth trying. I already love them spooned over vanilla or coffee ice cream. I will also have to try them on french toast.

16 comments:

  1. These were the bane of my existence, growing up: we had a tree in the garden,and I was just appalled that they were not sweet.

    Yours look bee-yootiful.

    They would make good sauce, too. Tonight's citrus reduction mit the crabcakes rocked.

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  2. Confession time... never eaten a kumquat! Your post is inspiring me to go find some to give them a try.

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  3. They look yummy and beautiful! I had my first kumquat a few years ago. I had NO idea you ate the whole thing!

    Happy New Year!

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  4. Sounds scrummy!
    Happy New Year :)

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  5. I've never tried a kumquat. I hope yours turn out well. Happy New Year!

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  6. I've never eaten one either, though I rarely see them in the stores here in Montana. Those look delish!

    Happy New Year!

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  7. Happy New Year, Thomas. Hope your garden flourishes as well.
    Beautiful candied kumquat marmalade. I purchased my dwarf kumquat from Four Winds many years ago, it is a very productive little tree and provides beautiful color in the cold winter.

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  8. I've seen kumquats before at the local farmer's market (or the closest thing to it, anyway), but have never tried one before. Maybe I'll be a bit daring and buy a few to see what they're like!

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  9. Lovely! They are so beautiful!

    I candied some a few years ago and was dissapointed - I am so in love with the sweet/sour aspect, that I wasn't emotionally prepared for the inevitable blurring/blending of flavor. Still, they are lovely with ham or pork chops!

    there is something about kumquats... like pomegranits... they seem a magical fruit.

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  10. Mmmm, the color is just amazing. There's something about orange food that just makes it so mouth-wateringly appealing. Having your own tree would be great ! Enjoy !

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  11. I too love kumquats. Luckily, they're readily available here, and I've even planted my own small tree. My mother in law grew up in Argentina with a huge tree in her yard, and this is the way she taught me to preserve them: http://athinkingstomach.blogspot.com/2008/05/framily.html

    I love them preserved, I love them raw, I just love them all. I hope your tree-to-be grows and produces well for you.

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  12. They look gorgeous and delicious! years ago i bought them and made them into Christmas tree ornaments by running a gold cord through the top of the fruit. My kitten loved knocking them off the tree and batting them around...months after Christmas i moved the couch to vacuum behind it and found the blue-green moldy dessicated husks of several kumquats that had gotten away from him.

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  13. Do you grow this in your garden?! Amazing.

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  14. Lovely photos..made my mouth water!

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  15. I will try this one out...I know someone that can help me out. Thanks for the idea! :)

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