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Kumquat Marmalade

March 14, 2013

Dear readers, I now take you to Part 2 in my Kumquat Series. All this stems from the bumper crop that our kumquat tree is providing us this year. My food blogger friend Christina, of Christina’s Cucina, told me what her neighbor who has a kumquat tree does when he eats these little guys out of hand. For those of you who don’t know what kumquats are (listen up, Lulu, you, who call these little lovelies, whatchamacallits), they have a sweet rind and flesh and VERY tart juice. I didn’t even realize that. I thought the entire inside is tart. But then Christina told me her neighbor cuts open each little kumquat, squeezes the juice out in the sink and pops them in his mouth. I tried it. Remarkable! It was so much mellower. It’s the juice that’s tart!

a generous kumquat tree

What to do? What to do?

still life of kumquats

First, I gave you kumquat chicken. For the recipe, click here.

Then, I thought, MARMALADE! What’s super cool about this recipe?

  • very few ingredients!
  • low sugar!
  • no sterilization of jars!

I cut the fruit lengthwise in quarters. The larger kumquats were cut again in half around the equator. So, the smaller fruit was cut in 4 and the larger in 8. To get an idea of the different kumquat sizes, here’s what they look like sitting beside a medium orange.

kumquats with orange

ORANGE: Hey, you’re little.
KUMQUATS (in unison): No, you’re big.

Once you have about a pound of kumquats kut cut up, macerate the fruit by putting sugar on top and letting them sit for 15 minutes or so. The sugar draws out the juice and in this case will help balance the flavor.

mecerating kumquats

Trust me, there’s a lot of fruit under that sugar. (It’s a close-up, people, it’s a close-up!)

I used a mix of orange juice and water to further balance the flavors. Everything simmered gently together for about 20 minutes.

thickened marmalade

Have faith. Once the kumquat marmalade cools, it thickens and thickens more when you chill it in the fridge.

This a great idea for Passover or any time of year. I know we’re going to be eating matzo with butter and kumquat marmalade for breakfast this year. Yum!

Other ideas – feel free to substitute crackers for matzoh:

  1. Spread crackers with a bit of marmalade and a small slice of your favorite cheese. I love Manchego, Dubliner and Gruyere.
  2. Or spread crackers with any semi-soft or soft cheese and top with a bit of marmalade. I love goat cheese for this.
  3. Of course, terrific on buttered whole-gran toast or bagels.
  4. Also, use as part of a marinade for chicken or lamb!
  5. My novio enjoys spreading the marmalade on my mandelbread… both were around this week.
Marmalade, anyone?

Marmalade, anyone?

If I keep this up, they’ll be calling me Lady Marmalade.



2 1/2 c. (500 g.) kumquats
1/2 c. (120 g.) sugar (if you like the tartness, use 1/3 c. [80 ml.] sugar)
1/4 c.  (60 ml.) orange juice
1/4 c. (60 ml.) water


Cut up kumquats. Remove some seeds, if you like, but you don’t have to get all of them (they’re not hard, like in lemons).

Place cut up fruit in a medium saucepan. Pour sugar over fruit and let sit for 15 minutes.

Stir fruit. Add juice and water and stir through again. Cook on medium until just coming up to the boil. Simmer gently, uncovered, over medium-low heat (you want to see small bubble action). Using a wooden spoon, stir occasionally, and cook for about 20 minutes or until the juices begin to thicken. You want to see the juices coating the wooden spoon when you lift it out of the fruit.

Remove from heat and let cool uncovered.

Place in clean glass jar or small jars. This is a great reason to save cool glass jars. This makes a great gift if you’re inclined to share….


Use all juice or all water.

Try adding 1/2 t. (2.5 ml.) cinnamon or 1/2 t. (2.5 ml.) vanilla.

Suggestions? I’d love to hear from you!

P.S. My cousin Udi in Israel told me on the phone (in his characteristically deep voice that I enjoy imitating) that he’ll try my recipes if I write them in Hebrew. Well, I’m uhhh, not quite at that level. But we managed a compromise when I offered to include metric equivalents. Bear with me readers, I may not always get exactly right, but this post initiates my going metric. OK, Udi, get cooking!

  1. Hannah Simpson-Grossman, Israel permalink

    Hi Judy.
    Kumquat marmalade is one of my favorites. Next time, try adding some minced ginger – it gives it a nice kick.
    Have a wonderful Pessach,

  2. Laura,Lulubelle Linkoff permalink

    Don’t get me started on those wanna bes kumquats…:)

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