Easy Kumquat Marmalade

by Shoshana on June 6, 2012 · 22 comments

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As I have mentioned before, my parents’ abundantly productive kumquat tree meant that throughout my childhood we periodically had significant numbers of kumquats to use in all kinds of creative ways. My parents have a cookbook called “What to Do With a Kumquat” and we certainly utilized it well. The one thing that we always made in huge quantities was kumquat marmalade. Come holiday time almost everyone we knew got a present of homemade marmalade.

Although the marmalade always came out tasty, my parents are not perfectionists when it comes to cooking and the marmalade came out a bit differently each time. Since I like things to come out as consistently as possible I decided to look up kumquat marmalade recipes and see what I could find. I poked around online but all the recipes I found called for cutting the kumquats in half, removing the insides and the seeds, putting them in a cheesecloth bag, and then thinly slicing the skins. While I am sure that makes for a delicious marmalade with no seeds it simply seemed like far too much work when I had fifty pounds of kumquats to cook before they went bad. Kumquat seeds are edible so, although it might be a bit more aesthetically pleasing to remove them, I decided not to bother. Instead I used the slicing blade on the food processor to make quick work of the kumquats. In the end I ended up making a very close approximation of the marmalade we used to make when I was a kid and it turned out delicious.

Although it might be tempting to double the recipe the flavor is better if the marmelade is cooked in small batches. That allows it to cook fully without cooking for so long that it loses its fresh flavor.

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Quick Kumquat Marmalade

makes approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 pounds kumquats
2 pounds sugar
2 cups water

Thinly slice the kumquats. The slicing blade on the food processor works well for this. Combine the kumquats, sugar and water in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the marmalade reaches 220 or is set. (The set can be tested by placing a small dab of marmalade on a plate in the freezer). As the marmalade is cooking remove any pits that float to the top. Transfer the marmalade to clean glass jars and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

For longer storage use the boiling water canning method and leave a 1/4 inch of head space at the top of each jar.


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura June 7, 2012 at 6:20 am

This looks so delicious and I love that it is a no fuss simple recipe. (Wow . . . fifty pounds of kumquats . . . when I was growing up, we had a pear tree and we spent hours peeling, coring and poaching pears).


Sarah June 7, 2012 at 8:25 am

Love that all the ingredients are in proportion-makes its easy to remember! Will be trying this with a different fruit!


Tamar Genger June 7, 2012 at 8:47 am

My dad has a Star Fruit tree and it is similarly a unique food that is hard to find great uses for. I love to just eat them and he give plenty away for that, but he also makes these fun dried little stars out of them.

As for Kumquats, I often find them too tart, I bought them last year and sent them to school for the kids to try, it was fun to see their expressions.


Chanie June 7, 2012 at 9:41 am

I’m not the biggest fan of kumquats but that marmalade looks beautiful, and it sounds so easy to make too! On a side note, I wish I grew up with some kind of fruit tree in my backyard!


Melinda Strauss June 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

Wow, that is easy! Can I do this with any fruit?


Shoshana June 7, 2012 at 7:51 pm

The ratio of 1 lb of sugar to 1 lb of fruit is a pretty standard formula for making jams, but to my taste they often come out too sweet if the fruit is sweet to begin with. If you aren’t worried about canning I would recommend using 3/4 lb sugar to 1 lb fruit and adding a smidge of lemon juice to balance out the sweetness.


jessica June 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm

i’ve been wondering if there’s anything to make with kumquats. and i love canning, might have to try this soon!


Shoshana June 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I love canning too. There is something about the beautiful filled jars sitting on the counter that is so satisfying. In fact, it is a bit of a problem because I love making jams and preserves but then no one in my family really eats them so they end up sitting around.


Jamie Geller June 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

I don’t love canning but I love preserves and this looks and sounds divine. Like you am the only one here – the rest of the family favors grape JELLY!!! can u believe?


sina @ the kosher spoon June 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm

making a marmalade/preserves/jam (what’s the right term?) has been on my to do list for a long time! i never thought of kumquats, it looks amazing


Miriam @ Overtime Cook June 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I’ve never made jam/preserves, and never had a kumquat- this recipe looks fabulous though.


Ronnie Fein June 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

I LOVE kumquat anything, but particularly marmalade. You are so lucky to have so much of it — hard to find in Connecticut. I have made kumquat marmalade and also leave the seeds and all. BEST is kumquat marmalade with yogurt. I have also added some to Banana Bread. So, so good. Wish I lived next store, I’d ask you for some!


DEBRA March 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Just made this marmalade..sooo good. A friend of ours had a bumper crop of kumquats. I made 2 batches . Great on toast, warm biscuits and baked chicken. Plan to make more next year!!


Alex Moller March 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Never made any kind of marmelade or jellies. Used these directions and Oila!!! it came out beautifully!


Shoshana March 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I’m so glad you liked it!


BK March 25, 2013 at 9:37 am

Had a bumper crop and just finished turning about 60 lbs into marmalade with your recipe. Delicious! Gifts are ready for next Christmas!!!!


Shoshana March 25, 2013 at 10:31 am

Glad you liked it. We always do the same thing and give it out for all holiday gifts (teachers, mail carriers, everyone).


eryn August 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm

great marmalade thank you husband said best ever


Irene November 29, 2013 at 4:39 am

Great I love it and I had so much on my tree this time, that I divided it up with my neighbours. Each one made marmalade and I got in return a jar full of it. Believe me everyone made it in a different taste. My husband loves it on toast for his breakfast.


Chris April 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm

After having tried many recipes…thinly slicing, etc., etc….I’ve decided to try doing it the way an old friend’s mom used to do things. Wash fruit. Put fruit (whole or halved) into a pot with some water and sugar/honey and a pinch of salt…and cook slowly until thickened…and call it, “Candied Kumquats” (or, whatever fruit you are using). That’s it!


Yvonne March 10, 2015 at 5:52 pm

First time making any marmalade, chose this recipe and used my pressure cooker, 15 minutes to cook.
It came out so good, thanks for such an easy kumquat marmalade


Shoshana March 11, 2015 at 12:22 am

I’m so glad you liked it. I have never tried making it in a pressure cooker but that is a great idea.


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