Kumquats are pretty orange citruses originating from Asia, but now cultivated in California and Florida. A seasonal fruit present only in the spring, I’ve seen them around but only managed to take a chance and try them during my last trip to the Food Coop. I didn’t really know what they were, but they looked too good to not be good, so here we are.
It turns out that kumquats are quite tart to eat on their own. I looked up other ways to prepare them and was immediately drawn to how attractive candied kumquats were as a garnish. I had to try candying fruit for the first time, and boy was I very pleasantly surprised. They are sweet, tart and have a faint bitterness that adds a distinct character to them.
Here we go with my candied kumquat adventure, and three ways to use them in case you still have doubts! Recipe follows.
Quick Candied Kumquats
8-10 kumquats, thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dissolve sugar in water while bringing to a boil. Add vanilla and sliced kumquats and simmer until translucent on low-medium heat, about 20 minutes. Carefully fish out kumquats into a container and spoon some of the syrup on top. Store in fridge for two weeks.
Candied kumquats three ways: