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Quartered kumquats (say that 10 times fast)

Recipe: Andrew’s Kumquat Marmalade

The kumquat tree was planted for the husband. Yours truly doesn’t care for them. To be honest, the husband uses them as an appetite suppressant (the sourness makes one not want to eat anything afterward; it has the same effect as brushing one’s teeth). So, now that the kumquats are going gangbusters, the husband decided to make some marmalade for his toast.

He’s a bit of an experimenter, the husband. Never one to follow a recipe to the letter. So here is his take on Marc Matsumoto’s kumquat marmalade recipe:

Andrew’s Kumquat Marmalade (improved)

Kumquats have a sweet skin but sour/bitter flesh
Kumquats have a sweet skin but sour/bitter flesh


  • 1.5 pounds kumquats
  • 1/2-3/4 cup honey (to taste) – the husband used more…and then some
  • 1/3 cup rice wine (water will also work) – the husband used water
"Kumquats have seeds?" he said.
“Kumquats have seeds?” he said.


1) Wash and cut the kumquats in half, exposing the seeds. Use the tip of your knife to remove the seeds. Cut each half into quarters or eighths, depending on how big they are.

Quartered kumquats (say that 10 times fast)
Quartered kumquats (say that 10 times fast)

2) Add the kumquats to a pot with the honey and rice wine. Cover and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the skins start turning translucent. Watch the pot as it has a tendency to boil over. Remove the lid, then simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated and the remaining liquid is thick and viscous (about 10-15 minutes). See notes for adjustments.

He used honey from our bees. 100% homegrown!
He used honey from our bees. 100% homegrown!
15 minutes wasn't nearly enough. More like 25-30.
15 minutes wasn’t nearly enough. More like 25-30.

3) Because kumquats vary in sweetness, you may need to add a little more honey to yours, so taste it as it cooks and adjust the sweetness to your liking.


Add more honey, yes indeed. The husband has a sweet tooth and the bitterness didn’t agree with him. He ended up adding about a cup of honey in total, but it still wasn’t sweet enough for him. So he started experimenting…with raisins.

New recipe: Kumquat marmalade with raisins.
New recipe: Kumquat marmalade with raisins.

He added about 1/3 cup of raisins for sweetness. “Now we’re getting somewhere,” he said.

When finished, he reported that the resulting product was runny. Not enough time on the stove, even with the extra simmering. Perhaps the rice wine would have made the difference. Oh, and it’s still not sweet enough. He bottled the marmalade into a mason jar…

Makes 1 quart of marmalade
Makes 1 quart of marmalade

…and then poured a half-inch of maple syrup over the top, mixing it in.

Voila! New recipe: Andrew’s Kumquat Marmalade with Raisins & Maple Syrup. He’ll be slathering it on toast for quite a while.

How do you like to use kumquats? Post your ideas here.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Elio Rupo

    Hi Christy, thanks a lot for posting this mouth watering recipe. 🙂

  2. Dana

    Christy, I LOVE kumquats too, and make lots of marmalade with fruit from my tree each year. Andrew’s recipe is very interesting, with the raisins, honey, and maple syrup too. By soaking the kumquats overnight in water, they release pectin, and then will thicken when sweeteners are added. Is he cooking the kumquats in a cast iron pan? If so, I bet the super acidity of the kumquats could react with the pan.

    1. Christy

      I love it when master preservers jump into the conversation! Thanks Dana, I’ll pass this info on to him for the next time. He’s not using a cast iron pan, so we’re good there.

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