Homemade Kumquat Marmalade


Our Kumquat trees really produced a lot of fruit this year—so much so that I turned to Instagram for suggestions about how to use it all. Someone suggested making a marmalade with simply kumquats and sugar, in a ratio ranging anywhere from 1:1 to 2:1, which really appealed to us. So many recipes call for other citrus or the addition of pectin, and I love how straightforward this one is.

We went closer to the slightly sweeter 1:1 ratio, and were happy to find that the tart and slightly bitter characters are still there. It’s fantastic on toast with butter, over sharp cheddar cheese, with ice cream, or with cocktails. But my favorite combination is perhaps on a crusty slice of baguette with fresh, whole-milk ricotta.


The trickiest (and most-time consuming) part is slicing and seeding the kumquats. They’re so small that it can be a bit tedious. But if you keep your slices fairly thin, I find that most of the seeds slide out on their own. The rest you can poke out with your knife’s point.

Beyond that, I wasn’t too meticulous. I figure a few seeds won’t hurt: you usually just eat them when you eat the fruit whole.



Our scale was broken, so we just filled a large measuring cup with sliced kumquats and then used roughly the same measure of (or slightly less) sugar.


It looks a bit crazy going in, but dissolves once you stir it around.


Once the sugar and the kumquats were combined, we let them sit in the refrigerator for four or five hours to let them get tender. And then we cooked the mix on the stove, bringing it to 220°F before canning.* 


Whether or not you make it yourself, I highly recommend the combination of marmalade and whole-milk ricotta. Ask your grocer if they carry some of the really rich, small-batch stuff or try making your own!

*Safe canning: If you’re planning on canning the marmalade for keeps, be sure to follow safe-handling practices. Here are the instructions for citrus marmalade: Start by sterilizing canning jars. Then boil the mixture (stirring frequently) until the temperature measures 220°F (at sea level)—about 20 minutes. Pour hot marmalade into hot, sterile jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; adjust two-piece metal canning lids. Process in a Boiling Water Canner.

And here are some guidelines about how long you can keep jams and jellies once opened.

P.S. Kumquats are symbols of prosperity! Here’s a wonderful NPR piece all about them. And a citrus-themed dinner party.

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