Eventually summer will roll around and there will be more fruits in season than citrus. And ohhhhmygoodness I can’t wait for that to happen, but until then, I’m trying to do that whole open-minded thing and expand my appreciation for citrus, because it turns out I’ve been neglecting it for way too long. The truth is that I grew up with a tree practically dripping with kumquats in my backyard and yet it somehow never occurred to me that I could/should do anything with them besides eat them straight off the branches. Now I’m wondering why I missed out on all these years of kumquat recipes, because the burst of flavor they add is really just incomparable.
Wayyy back in the day I made candied orange peel (which is phenomenal by the way, if you haven’t tried it), and ever since then I constantly hear from readers who have tried the recipe, loved it, and even taken it to new levels that put me to shame. I’ve been saying for years that I needed to get creative and try some more types of candied citrus, so I finally decided to do it. And really, I LOVE when last-minute decisions end up being the best ones you could possibly make. It turns out candied kumquats are even easier to make than candied orange peel – like <20 minutes easy to make – and they taste like little edible jewels of sweetness that still have a bit of that kumquat tang, but with this fresh, syrupy citrus flavor to mellow it out. They inspired a pretty dang good bundt cake that I’ll be sharing on Friday too, so if I were you, I’d whip up a batch real quick and get ready to make some cake. ;)
Candied kumquats take minutes to make and take a little bit of the edge off this tangy-sweet fruit. They make a perfect topping for anything from salads to ice cream and a gorgeous garnish for all kinds of baked goods!
- 14 ounces (2 cups) vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 8 ounces (1 cup) water
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 lb 4 ounces (4 cups) halved kumquats*
- Combine sugar, water, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla bean pod in a medium saucepan and mix together. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat as needed to reach a simmer. Simmer for 4 minutes.
- Add kumquats to saucepan and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary.
- Strain syrup from kumquats and transfer kumquats to a jar. Return syrup (with vanilla bean pod) to saucepan and simmer for another 5 minutes to reduce. Add 1/4 cup of the reduced syrup to the kumquats and store in refrigerator.
*When you slice your kumquats, you can remove any seeds that easily come loose, but there's no need to be very picky about it since the seeds are completely edible.
Recipe lightly adapted from Simply Recipes