So my lovely mother-in-law gave me a nice bag of kumquats and I had no earthly idea what to do with them until I saw a Bon Appetite article for citrus you don’t use but you should. Lots of citrus ideas of lots of citrus I have no access to, but I do have a bag of kumquats. So let’s get to it.
12 ozs kumquats, quartered lengthwise and seeded (who knew from seeds?)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 shallot, minced
1 Tbs grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 star anise in cheese cloth to be removed later – or just fished out. That’s what I did.
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Boil until kumquat skins are tinder and mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove star anise. Transfer to a bowl until cool. Cover and store (in a mason jar) in the refrigerator. Can be kept for two weeks.
Notes: I really like this, but the cloves are a bit strong. Next winter I may leave that out. Even though kumquats grew around me all the time as a kid, I’ve never really bothered with them. Do hope to get a nice supply next winter. Always hopeful.
On an aside: star anise is one of those spices I keep whole and don’t get to use often. But it is nice to have when you need it. I also keep whole nutmeg. There is nothing better – those things last for damn near ever. Just use a microplane grater on it. Thank you AB – but I had a few of these before I ever “met” you. And on the recommendation of America’s Test Kitchen I keep fresh peeled ginger in a jar of sherry in the fridge. Fresh ginger any time you want it.
All the thing you learn as you get on in cooking. Excellent.