Kumquats are a citrus fruit available in the winter months. They look like an orange, only they are much smaller and they are oval-shaped. Like other citrus fruits, they are quite high in vitamin C. Kumquats are pretty sour, but their edible peel is sweet.
Kumquats are not easy to find where I live; when I found them, I made the purchase without question (I imagine they are easier to come by in warmer climes).
I had no idea what I would do with my little beauties until I saw the recipe for Kumquat Champagne Confit in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Herzberg and Zoe Francois.
It was perfect timing, really, since I had a whole lot of champagne left over from New Year’s Eve. I used the remainder of an open bottle (about 3 1/2 cups) in this marmalade. While the Artisan Bread recipe is fairly simple, I complicated mine a bit (in a good way, I think), by using honey instead of sugar, as well as lots of sweet dried fruits and herbs/spices.
I’m calling it a marmalade not because I like marmalade (I generally don’t), but because it’s a sweetened preparation of citrus that includes the peel. Whether you usually like marmalade or not, I urge you to give this one a try.
This recipe makes just over a pint. I love it spread onto organic uncured ham slices, which I roll up and eat as a quick lunch with a salad. It’s also delicious spooned over plain Greek yogurt (and ice cream too, I imagine), as well as with goat cheese and rice crackers…
…and since the recipe inspiration came from a bread book, I am sure it’s great on bread, too.
If you don’t have any leftover champagne that you are willing to use, I see no reason why this wouldn’t work with sparkling apple cider (or another type of juice); it will be quite a bit sweeter, though, so you may want to reduce the amount of dried fruits. You could also use water for part of the liquid…
Kumquat Marmalade with Champagne and Figs
3 1/2 cups champagne
1/2 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods
20 dried figs, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tb. rose water- optional
In a medium-sized pot on the stove, bring the champagne and honey to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the cinnamon sticks and the cardamom pods.
Roughly chop the kumquats and remove as many seeds as possible. You’ll be able to remove more later, but if a few remain, they won’t harm you. Add to the champagne and honey. Add the dried fruits and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the kumquats and dried fruits are very tender and the mixture is fairly thick. Remove and discard any visible remaining kumquat seeds, as well as the cinnamon sticks.
Turn off the heat and allow the marmalade to cool. Process in a high speed blender or food processor to break up any large chucks of fruit and to pulverize the cardamon. Return to the pot and add the vanilla and optional rose water. Mix well, and then spoon into glass jar(s). Store in the refrigerator; it will keep for a week or two.
This kumquat marmalade recipe is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging.