When I see ingredients I haven’t worked with, I often drag them home to see what new delights I can concoct. Welcome home Kumquats, which quickly became Candied Kumquats.
If you’re not familiar with the adorable kumquat, they’re the midget member of the citrus family. Originally from Asia, they have thick, sweet skins, a bitter, powerful centre and are about the size of a robin’s egg. The flavour is over-the-top orange with a sharp tang finish. If you’ve never tried one I suggest popping one straight in your mouth, just to familiarize yourself with the intensity of the fruit in its raw sate.
Ready yourself for an explosion of flavour. Kumquat can easily overpower if you’re not careful with it, but there are some things it loves to work with, like vinegar for a tangy pickle or lime for a tart salsa or sugar for an intense preserve or flavoured syrup.
Originally, I planned a colourful citrus salsa, intending to take us down the road of a savory-sweet endeavour, but then I had an overwhelming desire for the taste of orange and chocolate. Inspired by Terry’s Chocolate Orange, I whipped up a dark and delicious Chocolate Orange Chiffon Cake (recipe to follow in Friday’s post), moistened with kumquat syrup and topped with colourful bits of candied kumquat.
The result was truly satisfying – bright, bold citrus flavour grounded in rich, dark chocolate. Craving conquered.
Candied Kumquats Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20minutes
2 cups of roughly chopped kumquats (roughly 16 kumquats)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
- Roughly chop the kumquats. Discard any seeds you can that are easy to get to, but they’re edible so if you miss some, no worries.
- Heat orange juice and sugar over high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add kumquats and simmer for 8 minutes, until transparent.
- Drain kumquats and reserve syrup. Return the syrup to the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce. Combine the kumquats and 1/4 cup of the syrup together.
Cool and serve or, scoop into a tightly sealed jar and refrigerate. Can be stored for up to two weeks and substitutes nicely for marmalade.
Last week I topped a toasted flax beagle and cream cheese with the sharp, citrus twang of candied kumquats for a taste of pure sunshine.