Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Kumquats in vanilla and clove syrup.

A good friend of mine called me up  the other day to tell me to come and pick up some kumquats that her daughter had sent up for me, so I called round and was given  this  bounty of gorgeous tiny orange fruit.
I looked up a few recipes and combined several to come up with something that suited  what I wanted.
I washed the fruit to remove any dust or dirt then sliced the stem end off  with a small sharp knife,
Pricked the skin  a few times with my trusty 3 pronged olive catching tool,
And then placed them  into a pot and just covered with water,some of the recipes called for the kumquats to be cut in half and the seeds removed , but I chose to leave whole.
I had quite a lot of  fruit so I decided to split them into 2 pots.
This fruit was then brought to the boil and simmered  for 2 minutes, drained, covered again with water and the process repeated twice more.
After the  3rd draining , I then added  the sugar and 1 cup of  water , vanilla extract(as I  was not able to buy vanilla  beans at our little local supermarket) and some whole cloves.
This was then simmered gently for about 30 minutes. I found I had a bit too much liquid, so I took a little out and  reduced it on the stove in a seperate small saucepan.
I then prepared  my jars ready to fill with  these wonderful little jewells.
After spooning the kumquats into the jars ,I then poured over the reduced   syrup  to fill the jars.
The lids were then placed on the jars,
and they were then  boiling water bathed   for 10 minutes to seal the jars to make them shelf stable.
These look and taste amazing, not sure what I will use them for, some say with icecream, cake decorating, cheese platters, and  someone also said they dry them on paper towel and dip in chocolate... now that  idea appeals to me, as I certainly have  a very sweet tooth.
This was an unexpected windfall, and that  often  is the case, they are the best gifts, and lovely to know that people  think of you in times of surplus.
There has been lots happening here, and I will try to  do a few  smaller regular posts to keep up with it all.
So until we meet again,
Take care of you and yours,


  1. I've never seen kumquats, what do they taste like? Are they similar to any other fruit? They look very delicious. I wonder what they would be like crystallized?

    1. Hi Janice,
      Kumquats are like tony olal shaped mini oranges. Their taste is in reverse, the peel is reasonably sweet and the flesh inside quite bitter. Prepared this way the syrup slowly petetrates through the pricked holes and sweetins the centres (well that's the plan) They are supposed to be very delicious glazed/crystallized..
      Take care

    2. That's meant to say "tiny oval" shaped mimi oranges.. (like a large marble)

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  2. Those kumquats look delicious, Jane. And they'd be wonderful dipped in dark chocolate.. I'll have to try your recipe next time I encounter some kumquats.

    1. Nicky, we tried them for the first time the other night, they were wonderful. We had them on a cheese platter and all our guests loved them too. We later did a test of them dipped in dark chocolate, and to be honest none of us were fans... maybe a milk choc. We found them much lovlier on their own.