Chardonnay Kumquat Marmalade

From a distance, it may seem like I really love me some kumquats.  I mean, kumquats are tiny little fruit and I’ve already posted many recipes about them…but, while I do enjoy kumquats I do not luuurrrrvvvvvvveeeeee kumquats.  Let me tell you a little story about this batch. 
This batch of kumquats was the “original” batch of kumquats that I ordered.  I ordered them through a certain online distribution company (not a farm) and when I received an email back confirming my order I was extremely excited, “Kumquats!  I will finally get kumquats!”.  So I anxiously waited and waited…and waited…and waited.  After the first week and a half I tried to send an email to the distribution company to ask when my fruit would be delivered.  The email was bounced back as not deliverable.  Hm.
oh sweet kumquats, you have been on quite an adventure!
I thought that was odd, so then I tried to contact them through their online chat application.  I waited and waited while the chat application tried to contact a customer service representative.  After 30 minutes and no communication, I closed the chat.  Hm. 

I picked up the phone.  I called their customer service number and it was busy.  I tried to call again.  It was busy.  Hm. 
Apparently I had been had by fraudsters!  “BAH!  I WANT MY KUMQUATS,” I yelled as I shaked my fist in the air.
I call my bank to tell them that this particular website was a fraudulent website.  Well, because the automatically generated email from my order did not specify a date when the product would be delivered, by law, I have to give the company 30 days to deliver my product.  I waited…and waited…and finally, I got tired of waiting and ordered my second batch of kumquats directly from a farm and received those within 5 days. 
Two weeks later, I recieve an automatically generated email from that distribution company informing me that my kumquats have been shipped.  I figured that it was a faux email to get my hopes up into thinking that a product was on it’s way.  Lo-and-behold, 3 days later I had a neat little package at my doorstep.  The kumquats!  THOSE BASTARDS!  So, I gave them a good washing and turned them into Chardonnay Kumquat marmalade!
This marmalade is broken down into 2 days.  First I cut them in half and then thinly sliced them.  I kept one pile of the kumquat fruit and kept one pile of the seeds.  I sliced 4 cups of fruit.
Place 4 cups of fruit in a medium sized pot and add 2 cups of chardonnay and cover.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat.  Let it rest for about 10-15 minutes.  Do this two more times for a total of three times.  Let cool and then place in the fridge overnight.  Ensure that you are stirring constantly, you do not want to burn the fruit.
Put the seeds in half a cup of water and place that in the fridge overnight.  The seeds have all the pectin and when you soak the seeds in water overnight, the pectin will leach out of the seeds and into the water.

The next day, over the pot of kumquat syrup, pour the seeds and water into fine cheesecloth and tie it up.  Place this in the pot.  At this point, using your best judgement, if the syrup looks too thick go ahead and add water and/or chardonnay to loosen it up.  Add 2 cups sugar, bring to a boil, lower to simmer, and cook until the thermometer reaches 220.  

Process in BWB for 10 minutes.  Yield should be about 3 half pints.

Chardonnay Kumquat Marmalade
Yield:  3 half pints
4 cups kumquats, half and thinly sliced
2 cups chardonnay
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
  1. Half and thinly slice kumquats until you have 4 cups of sliced fruit.  While slicing the fruit, be sure to reserve the seeds.
  2. Place fruit in a medium sized pot with 2 cups of chardonnay.  Cover, bring to a boil, simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.  Take off the heat and let rest for 10-15 minutes.  Repeat this 2 more times for a total of 3 times.  Let cool and place in the fridge to rest overnight.
  3. Place the seeds in 1/2 cup of water and place in the fridge to rest overnight.
  4. When you are ready to finish the marmalade, over the pot pour the seeds into a fine cheesecloth and place in the kumquat syrup.  At this point, you may need to add more water or chardonnay to the syrup if it’s too viscous.  I had to add about a cup of water.  Use your best judgement.
  5. Add 2 cups of sugar.
  6. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until your thermometer reaches 220.
  7. Following Kitchen Tactics:  Boiling Water Bath Canning, prepare 3 half pints and process for 10 minutes.

Salt & Pepper Preserved Kumquats

Since salt preserved lemons and oranges do so well in my kitchen, I decided to make salt preserved kumquats with the 5 pounds I had recieved.  I like kumquats as a snack but I can only eat 4 or 5 at a time before I can’t eat anymore and I still had a whole bowl to go.

Since kumquats are so sour, I wanted to mellow them out a bit and make them more savory.  I made about a 1:3 ratio of pepper:kosher salt and used this to salt preserve the kumquats.

First you want to slice off the blossom end of the kumquat and then slice down from the blossom end to the bottom but not all the way through…you want to keep the kumquat intact.  If it’s a big kumquat you want to then make another slice perpendicular to the first slice, all the way but again keeping the kumquat in tact.  Stuff the salt and pepper mixture into the kumquat and place the kumquat in a sterile quart jar.

Make sure you have no cuts on your fingers.  OUCH!
Repeat with each kumquat until you haev filled the quart jar, squishing the kumquats gently down as you go.  Once the kumquats are packed in the jar, place the lid on and let the jar sit for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, fill the quart jar with fresh lemon juice and tuck a bay leaf in the jar.  Let the jar sit for 2 weeks on your counter, flipping the jar every other day or so.  Add more lemon juice to cover the kumquats if it is needed.  After the 2 weeks, place the jar in the fridge.  This will last the same amount of time as preserved lemons and oranges. 

I’m really excited about these little guys.  I think the salt and pepper are going to play really well with the sweetness of the rind and the sourness of the pulp.  I can’t wait to start using them in recipes.
I’m always intrigued by something different!

Riesling Kumquat Syrup

One of the first things that popped into my mind after I received the kumquats  was syrup.  I wanted to make a fruity, citrusy syrup to add to my bar.  Not only that, I wanted to be able to pour it over pancakes, ice cream, yogurt, basically anything that would benefit from a pop of citrus.  Having tasted the kumquats, aside from their great burst of citrus flavor, I thought of Riesling.  Hence, Riesling Kumquat Syrup was born.

This process is broken down into two days.

Day 1:  After washing the kumquts, thinly slice them and put in a medium sized pot.  Add a pint and a half of Riesling and set over high heat.  Once it starts boiling, turn down the heat and gently boil for 15 minutes.  Cover and put in the fridge over night. 

This syrup will be safe to feed to children because all the alcohol will cook out.

Day 2:   Take out of the fridge and put on stove top, set to high and boil for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.  In the meantime, set up your BWB.  After an hour, strain the juice over a large bowl.  Make sure to get as much of the flavor out of the pulp as possible.  Keep stirring and pressing until the skins and pulp look “dry”.  Toss the skins and pulp.

You should end up with around 2 cups of juice.  I ended up with 1.5 cups.  Add water to the juice to equal 2 cups – you can also add any extra riesling but I drank all the left over riesling the night before! HA!

Add juice and 1 cup of sugar to a medium sized pan and set the pan to high heat.  You want to boil the syrup until it reaches about 118 (115-118 is ok) on a candy thermometer.  Ladle into prepared jars and process for 5 minutes.
I do like the flavor of this syrup however using the Riesling might be a little too sweet for my palate.  We’ll see how it mellows out over time.  Next time I’m going to try it with Chardonnay since Chardonnay has a more oakey and earthy flavor.  Overall, I’m happy with how this turned out and can’t wait to crack into these jars!  I’m thinking Riesling Kumquat Macaroons are in the future!
Riesling Kumquat Syrup
Yield:  4-6 quarter pint jars
1 Quart Kumquats
1.5 pints Riesling
1 cup sugar
Day 1
  1. Slice kumquats and place in a medium sized pot.  Add Riesling and gently boil for 15 minutes
  2. After 15 minutes, cover, and refridgerate overnight
Day 2
  1. Boil kumquats for about 5 minutes and let stand for an hour
  2. Prepare BWB
  3. After an hour has passed, strain kumquats, ensuring that you get all the juices out from the pulp and skins.
  4. Measure the juice and if you don’t have 2 cups, add water (or Riesling) to equal 2 cups.  Pour into medium sized pot and add 1 cup of sugar.  Boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Keep boiling until candy thermometer reaches about 118 degrees.
  5. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4″ head space and process for 5 minutes

Preserved Kumquats

In “Canning for a New Generation”, Liana Krissoff has a recipe for a drink called the Kumquat Knickerbocker.  I have been pining for this drink since I bought the book and I finally bit the bullet.  Being a fan of kumquats, I decided to go all in and order 5 pounds from Beck Grove.  This recipe is a sweet preserve, preserving the kumquats in sugar.  the method is fairly easy as you keep the kumquats whole, only cutting two small slits in each.  This is my first year preserving kumquats, so it shall be interesting to see how the preserved kumquats come out. and how I decide to incorporate them into my recipes.  My mind is already churning on how to use these little guys and not just for my liquor cabinet!  I’m thinking pork, duck, lamb, chicken, and even venison! 

Preserved Kumquats

From Canning for a New Generation

Yield:  4 half pint jars

1.5 pounds Kumquats
2 cups sugar
3 cups water

  1. Prep work area per “Kitchen Tactics:  Boiling Water Bath Canning”
  2. With a paring knife, cut off the blossom end and slice two slits in each kumquat.  Place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, boil for 5 minutes, then drain.  Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 times.
  3. In a large pot combine 3 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar, bring to a boil, and stir to dissolve the sugar. 
  4. Add the kumquats and return to a boil.  Skim off any foam, lower heat, and simmer until kumquats are translucent and glossy and the syrup is thick and reduced until it just covers the kumquats, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, stir to distribute the fruit, and ladle the hot kumquats and syrup into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  6. Process for 10 minutes. 
Mmmmm, can’t wait to try that drink!

Kitchen Tactics: Eating a Fresh Kumquat

I know what you’re thinking, “Does this woman think we are idiots?  How hard is it to eat a kumquat?!”  Trust me on this, there is a technique.  If you just pop a kumquat into your mouth like a grape, chances are you are going to make a face like this:


You see, kumquats are kind of like a miniature inside out orange and these little buggars pack a punch.  The skin is lovely and sweet, the pulp is sour and tart.  If you don’t eat a fresh kumquat correctly, you will miss out on the delicate sweetness of the skin and how it plays with the tartness of the pulp.

You want to roll the kumquat around in your fingers until it become pliable and soft and the essential oils are leeching out of the skin and covers your fingers.  Bite off the blossom end of the fruit (you can eat it but I spit it out).

Suck out the juice and pulp (spit out the seeds), using your teeth to flatten out the kumquat as you go, then nibble on the rind until it is all gone.  There you have it!  The proper way of eating a fresh kumquat that gives you a lovely all around citrus flavor.