Kumquats in Syrup

In childhood, I loved reading about the roguish doings of L. Frank Baum’s rotund king of the gnomes, Roquat the Red. Still today, fat little kumquats make me think of fat little Roquat. I’m the only marmalade lover in my family, so the jars I made of this bittersweet preserve will top my toast for a good, long while.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts or so


  • 2 quarts firm kumquats
  • Water
  • 5 cups sugar


  1. Wash the kumquats. Leave skins on. Pierce each one several times with a needle. Put fruit in an enameled pot. Cover with boiling water (should be at least an inch above the ‘quats.) simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Scoop the kumquats out of the pot. Stir in 5 cups sugar and boil syrup for five minutes. Dump the kumquats back into the pot and cook them at a gentle simmer for 1 hour or until fruit is transparent. Turn off the heat and let the fruit sit overnight in the syrup. In the morning, reheat to rolling boil. Skim fruit from pot. Place into hot, sterilized canning jars. Continue cooking syrup slowly until it is thick. Pour this over the fruit in the jars. Seal jars. Process in a hot-water bath according to canning directions, or, just refrigerate.

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