Kumquat Preserves

It happened last summer. When the kumquat season was come and gone. I spotted a jar of preserved kumquats at the Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building.

Ten years ago I'd never heard of a kumquat. And it took a me a few years after recognizing them to try one and another couple of years after that to relax enough to like them. I remember everyone saying, watch out, they're sour. Be careful. Ha.

Kumquats aren't that sour. And the skins are sweet. Once I realized this I was hooked. I adore kumquats. The first juice of sour, the next bite into the sweet skin. They are alive with flavor.

I used a weeks worth of coffee money and bought the jar of preserved kumquats. Back at the office I spooned them over plain yogurt and ate each spoonful slowly. I wanted to eat kumquats and yogurt every day. Forever. It was then, rationing two preserved kumquats and one tablespoon of syrup to each bowl of yogurt so the jar would last that I promised, I swore, I would make my own preserves when the kumquats returned.

Now that I have, my insides smile each time I see them on the pantry shelf. I don't want to eat them. I mean I do, but I want to ration them again. I want to look at them, and at the same time sit down and eat an entire jar. My mouth waters in anticipation. It's crazy the things I get excited about.

Here's the recipe I used for the kumquats. I liked the addition of honey and I added sprigs of thyme too.

As much as I appreciated buying that first jar of kumquat preserves it's such a good feeling to be able to can my own.

12 comments:

Kumi said...

What a beautiful jar of kumquats... Thanks for reminding me about canning!

asonomagarden said...

I love kumquats but I hadn't heard of canning them as preserves before! I'll have to have Scott pick up a jar when he goes into the City (he takes the ferry too).

Kale for Sale said...

Kumi - I'm happy to be reminded too. It's never as hard as I think it's going to be.

a sonoma garden - The jars of kumquats are in the back left corner of the store as you walk in. Ask him not to open the jar on the way home though because they may never make it to you! I hope you like them.

Kelly said...

ahh, i love kumquats. i was very dissapointed when out kumquat tree turned out to be a heritage breed mandarin tree.

agrigirl said...

Love kumquats and love that you are canning. My sis in law and I were just talking about it this weekend; me because I grew up in a house where canning took place and her because she leads a 4-H group.

Kale for Sale said...

Kelly - I have a kumquat tree too, mine really is one, but in three years I've harvested one kumquat. One. It makes me appreciate them even more. I have to tell you that the kumquat preserves somehow remind me of the pomegranite syrup you've written about. Which I still have to try! The two seem like cousins or something.

agrigirl - I grew up with canning too. But it was the all day, wear an apron, wipe the sweat from your brow marathon type of canning. My canning is prissy in comparison. It does seem like the art is returning, that thread from one generation to the next. At least in our families. Thanks for the comment.

April said...

I have never had kumquat preserves, I have had fig preserved like that, though.

Last season I tasted a friends kumquat marmalade. I fell in love with it. So, at Christmas my aunt raided her kumquats and lemons from her tree; along with some oranges I made my own kumquat marmalade. I made one batch, which should be enough to get me to next season. Funny how we are like that. Using things sparingly, appreciating it...there has to be character building in that jar of kumquats!

I agree the rinds are so sweet and yummy. They are my new favorite. However, if you have not had a sweet one, the sour ones may ruin someone from trying again... :)

Kale for Sale said...

April - Your marmalade sounds fabulous. I start shaking even to think of making marmalade, it seems so complicated. And I know exactly what you mean about having enough to get through to the next season. I'd rather go without than eat the last jar on the shelf and then have to go without. But whenever we eat them I do so appreciate it.

Jenn said...

my neighbor's loquat tree is going OFF - come over and get some!

Kale for Sale said...

Jenn - You are still the star free fruit finder! I've never eaten a loquat though. Can you? Really?

kathryn said...

Well I spent part of yesterday making cumquat marmalade, so it's funny I should sit down, to catch up on some blog reading and see your post today. I suspect cumquat marmalade may be the best marmalade in the world. Although mandarin marmalade is also very, *very* good. Anyway, your preserved cumquats look gorgeous and given they're in season here I may just have to try that recipe out myself.

Kale for Sale said...

Kathryn - It seems like yesterday that I canned the kumquats and already it's your season too. Clearly the world is moving faster all the time. Your kumquat marmalade sounds delicious, just imaging it sounds delicious. I read a recipe yesterday for roasted rhubarb and kumquats and thought I might have to open a jar so I could make it, well, at least mimic it since fresh kumquats are pretty much gone around here. One last thing, have you put kumquat marmalade on plain yogurt? I bet it would be terrific.