Indulge in a symphony of sweetness and citrus with this easy Candied Kumquats recipe. Enjoy the delightful blend of tender kumquats caramelized in a warm, spiced syrup. Perfect as a garnish or standalone treat!
Winter seems to have dug its heels in…it’s very cold, and it will be for a while.
When the temperature dips, I find myself reveling in the enjoyment of seasonal citrus: in my opinion, these fruits are one of the bright spots during the darkest, chilliest time of the year.
I never tasted a kumquat before I was a blogger, though: I tried my first ones last year, when I turned them into this kumquat marmalade.
Kumquats are like small oranges, only they are oval-shaped and the peel and seeds are edible. They have a similar nutritional profile to oranges, as well: they’re quite high in vitamin C. I don’t love them raw because they are a bit bitter (interestingly enough, the skin is sweeter than the flesh), but when they are cooked in a sweet syrup (aka candied), they are transformed into something pretty heavenly.
Candied kumquats can be eaten alone, spooned into champagne (Martha Stewart’s idea), used to top Greek yogurt, vanilla ice cream or cheesecake, or turned into other desserts.
Making them can be as simple as combining the kumquats with sugar and water, but in this version I’ve added some warming spices as well as Grand Marnier, a liqueur with its own hint of citrus. You can leave the alcohol out and just use more water, if you like, or make your kumquats even boozier by topping off the finished product with even more of the liqueur.
Ladled into small decorative jars, I think these candied kumquats would make a great homemade holiday gift: it’s not too late to make some, plus this recipe is very simple.
In addition to these candied kumquats, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the gift-appropriate recipes I’ve made here at Healthy Green Kitchen, as well as some ideas from other blogs that will also make fabulous gifts:
- 2 cups kumquats sliced in halve and pitted
- 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey add up to 1/4 cup more if you like it sweeter
- 1/2 cup water
- 5 star anise whole
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean split down the middle (or use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- Place all ingredients except vanilla bean in a small heavy bottomed pot on the stove. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the seeds and the pod to the mixture. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat slightly, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until the syrup thickens and the kumquats are very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Remove and discard the cinnamon and vanilla bean. Discard the star anise, if you like (I personally like to keep it in the jar with the kumquats as it looks so pretty- just make sure you don't eat it). Optionally, you may discard any kumquats seeds that remain.
- Ladle the kumquats into a pint size jar and top off with the syrup. You may add additional Grand Marnier for a "boozier" finished product, if you like. Refrigerate and consume within a week or two.