My Little Candied Kumquat

My weekly produce deliveries from Backyard Produce have allowed me to be a bit more daring than I normally would be on my regular visits.  I'm usually on a mission when I shop - to get in and get out quickly.  I have my list and try not to deviate (too much) from said list. 

A few weeks ago, I made the daring decision to include kumquats in my delivery from Backyard Produce - something I've always been curious about but have never purchased (and most likely wouldn't ever have.)  Kumquats resemble an orange in color and have a similar thick peel but are only about the size of the end of your thumb.  They are native to south Asia and the Asia-Pacific region but have been cultivated in North America for nearly 150 years now (and I'm just now brave enough to try them?!?)  The growing season ranges from January through June for those grown in California and November through mid-March for fruits harvested in Florida. 

I wasn't sure what to expect or do with the kumquats.  Do I peel them?  Are they sweet?  How exactly should I use them?  The answers to the first two questions are no and HECK NO! The skins aren't quite as thick as an orange peel and provide the only bit of sweetness amongst an otherwise extremely tart fruit.  For such a tiny thing, it packs a punch of zing - it took me a few minutes to come back to my senses after popping one into my mouth for taste-testing. 

Preliminary recipe research showed that most people enjoy them sliced and raw on a salad but they were a bit too sour for me to enjoy that way.  Others baked with them but quite frankly, I was too lazy to deseed them, so I opted to turn them into candied kumquats to enjoy spooned over the Hillsborough Farm goat cheese (also from Backyard Produce) and crackers.  I think it would make a fantastic topping for vanilla ice cream as well. 

Dare yourself to try something new by picking up a container of these little jewels on your next shopping trip and if you're interested in receiving fresh organic and natural produce delivered right to your door, check out Backyard Produce's website for how you can get started. 

Candied Kumquats

Printable Recipe

4 cups roughly chopped kumquats (about 1-1-1/2 lbs)
1 cup water
2 cups sugar

With a pairing knife, roughly chop the kumquats.  Discard any seeds that are easy to get too, but they're edible so don't worry if you don't get them all. 

Heat the water and sugar over high heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer for 4 minutes.  Add the kumquats and simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain the kumquats through a sieve over a bowl.  Return the syrup to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the syrup.  Combine the kumquats and 1/4 cup syrup together.

Serve or jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 



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