Easy Kumquat Marmalade

June 6, 2012

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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Ingredients & Quantities

  • 2 pounds kumquats
  • 2 pounds sugar
  • 2 cups water

Preparation Instructions

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.

Recipe Times







Recipe Yield

4 1/2 Cups

Recipe Categories


  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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

      • Going to try this now!! I spent hours yesterday thinly slicing and de-seeding kumquats for my fig, kumquat, lemon – jam/marmalade. I have a freezer full and not enough time as well as increasingly arthritic hands. I’m fine with small batches but making it ‘look’ pretty is way to difficult and time intensive. I went looking for kumquat marmalade without de-seeding and came up, way down the list, with your recipe. All the rest of the recipes that came up first were gorgeous but not only did the seeds have to be removed but the white membrane as well 🙁 So much for specific search terms. I hate that now every search is delivered, not with what I’ve searched for, but with that mysterious hierarchy established through keywords with perhaps some money thrown in. I’ll let you know how mine turns out. Thanks in advance for posting a logical way to do this.

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