Candied Kumquats

Candied kumquats jumped onto my cooking wishlist after having them with a dessert at Rustic Canyon. I flipped open a few cookbooks and was happy to find a straightforward recipe in the original Tartine. The book is unfortunately out of print but if you can find a copy I highly recommend adding it to your baking library. The new copies still floating around are a bit pricey but there are plenty of used options. Tartine Revisited doesn't include candied kumquats but is also a good resource.

If you're like me and new to candied fruit, Tartine's recipe is an excellent starting point. You don't have to fuss with extra boiling and draining steps and the cooking time is about 25 minutes. The result is an intensely fragrant dessert component with floral notes and a balanced citrusy sweet flavor. Add it to pastries or ice cream and be sure to use up any leftover syrup. Fresh Ginger Cake with Honey Whipped Cream wouldn't be the same without candied kumquats.

Original vs. Adapted

Whichever Way You Slice It

This recipe calls for slicing the kumquats. If you want to candy them whole, my understanding is that takes 45-60 minutes.

Sweet Stuff

Tartine recommends corn syrup as an optional addition if you plan to store the candied kumquats for more than a few days - apparently the liquid can crystalize. I use honey instead since it has a similar stabilizing effect plus it tastes better.

Recipe Tips

Shallow End

When you first combine the fruit and sugar water, it will seem as if there isn't enough liquid. Just pat the fruit down into an even layer and then partially cover with a lid. Once the kumquats start simmering things will settle in and the liquid amount will be fine.

Those Seeds Though

After slicing a few kumquats you'll quickly learn where most of the seeds are hiding. I cut the kumquats in half, pop the seeds out with the tip of my knife, then slice.

Farmers | Artisans

Tools

  • Plunger Mini Measuring Cup - Very handy for measuring sticky substances such as molasses, honey, and agave. It also comes in larger sizes.

Ingredients (Tartine Cookbook)

It's easy to cut this recipe in half, just use a small saucepan instead of medium.

  • 12 ounces water
  • 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) organic cane sugar
  • 4 teaspoons mild-flavored honey
  • 340 grams (12 ounces) kumquats

Instructions

  • Slice the kumquats into 1/8 to 1/4-inch rounds, popping out any seeds with the tip of the knife.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 12 ounces of water, 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) organic cane sugar, and 4 teaspoons mild-flavored honey. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and honey.
  • Add the kumquat slices, pat them down into an even layer, then partially cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat to medium-low, gently stir from time to time, and cook until the fruit is translucent - 25 to 35 minutes. Note: Try to keep the fruit in an even layer so that all of the slices are exposed to the sugar liquid.
  • Transfer the candied kumquats and all of the delicious syrup to a heat-proof glass container, cool, then seal with an airtight lid and refrigerate.

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