Why It Works
- Pickled kumquat is perfect on a cheese platter, alongside cured and roasted meats, or tossed with hearty green salads.
- The vinegar syrup can be treated like a shrub or drinking vinegar, stirred into sparkling water, a cocktail or into a vinaigrette for a flavorful sweet/tart bite.
I've been on a kumquat tear lately—slicing them into wheels and tossing them into green salads. A few have been quickly candied and poured over a tender almond cake. There was a pound that I turned into a labor-intensive marmalade.
And then there's this kumquat pickle. Slightly sweet, puckery and gently spiced, it may well be my new favorite thing to eat.
If your citrus experience is limited to oranges, clementines, and grapefruit, eating a kumquat will feel backwards at first. Kumquats keep their sweetness in their skin and their tartness on the inside. If you try and peel away the exterior, all you'll be left with is a marble-sized bite of unrelenting sour. Instead, you pop the whole thing in your mouth and let the flavors mingle.
Much like the pickled cranberries, these kumquats can do double duty. The pickled fruit is perfect on a cheese platter, alongside cured and roasted meats, or tossed with hearty green salads.
The vinegar syrup can be treated like a shrub or drinking vinegar. Stir it into sparkling water, a cocktail or into a vinaigrette for a flavorful sweet/tart bite.
Before You Get Started
While kumquats are fairly common these days, depending on where you live, it can still be something of a hunt to scare up a pound or two. If you can't find them at your regular spots, try an Asian grocery store. Don't worry if the kumquats look a bit dried out on the inside. They'll still pickle up just fine.
Should you want a stronger flavor from the spices, instead of tying them up in a spice bag, add some of each to the bottom of each jar before you ladle in the fruit.
1 pound kumquats
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pickling salt
6 whole cloves
2 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 thin slice fresh ginger
Wash kumquats and pick over for any that have soft spots.
Using a sharp paring knife, trim off the stem end and cut the kumquats in half. Pop out any visible seeds with the tip of your paring knife.
Place the halved kumquats in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat. Let the kumquats sit for 5 minutes. Drain.
In the same saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt.
Place spices in the center of a length of cheesecloth or in a tea infuser and put into the pot with the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil.
Once the liquid has come to a boil, add the softened kumquats. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and funnel kumquats and liquid into prepared jars.
For shelf stable jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
If making as a refrigerator pickle, let jars cool thoroughly and then store in refrigerator. Let pickles rest for 24 hours before eating.
Refrigerator pickles will keep 4 to 6 weeks. Unopened processed pickles will keep up to one year on the shelf.
Mason jars, canning pot
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 8 to 12|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 15g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 17mg||83%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|