Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Kumquats

Confession.   I think kumquats are adorable.

A. Dor. A. Ble.

So I've been wanting to preserve some for a long time.   Just 'cause they're cute.

Even though I didn't know what they actually tasted like. 

Especially when I found a few links to some kumquat jam recipes at Food in Jars. [halfway down the link list in that post.]   Seriously beautiful food. 

So, when I found these tiny ones at Trader Joe's up in Indy last weekend, I grabbed a box, then came home and preserved a very small batch - just one pint jar - with honey and vanilla.

I'm going to just come right out and say this:  Kumquats are weird. 

The peels are the sweet fruity part and the insides are sour.   Very sour.   They're sort of an inside out marmalade experience - you know, the citrus, sour, bitter mashup.   They need sugar and lots of it.

Here's how I preserved these beauties:

Kumquat Preserves
www.rurification.com

12 oz. box of kumquats, washed, with stem bits removed.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, sliced so the seeds are exposed

Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Let simmer until peels are transparent - about an hour.

It made just one pint.

Notes:    I was hoping that they'd keep their shape, and they probably would have if I hadn't cooked them so long.

I cooked them so long because that's the best way to candy those peels.  The longer they cook in sugar water, the better they taste.

They're still pretty puckery.   You could leave out the water and add another 1/4 - 1/2 cup of honey and probably get a nice and very balanced preserve.  Next time I find some of these, I'm going to try that. 


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