A lot has changed with availability of kumquats and variety since 2019. The once hard to find Japanese oval kumquats are now widely available. Not only do they have far fewer seeds, freshly picked they are less likely to deflate when cooking whole. The older recipe still applies but this new, rather savoury recipe is terrific with cheese.

The syrup is brilliant for roast duck or pork especially if you strain off the pepper corns and crush them a bit. We also add marmalade and stock to the pan juices for the sauce.

Also try the Japanese kumquats to make marmalade using this recipe.



really freshly picked un-waxed Japanese kumquats
2-3 slices of ginger per kg of fruit
5g white pepper per kg of fruit
Vine Valley white wine vinegarsugar

day 1

Using a very sharp thin, stainless steel knife make two through slits of each kumquat. Weigh your fruit and put it into a stainless steel saucepan that is at least three times the volume of your fruit.

Add and equal weight of cold filtered water. Add the appropriate amount of ginger and white pepper, stir over, cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight. Make sure you keep a not of the weight of the fruit.

day 2

Weigh out an equivalent weight to fruit of white wine vinegar. Add it to the pot and place it on very low heat. Induction makes light work of this, so barely a movement and set a timer for 1 hour.

When the timer goes add double the weight of the fruit in sugar to the pot. Turn the heat up a little and stir just long enough to dissolve the sugar. Immediately turn the heat down to as low as possible again and cook for about two hours.

By this time the kumquats are starting to show translucency and the syrup starting to thicken a little.

Allow to stand covered overnight in a cool place or in the fridge.

day 3

Return the kumquats to very low heat and set a timer for 1 hour. Assess the syrup at the most you will need to cook for another 30 minutes. Bottle in hot sterilised jars.

I have noticed that if the kumquats are picked not over-ripe and processed the same day I get the best resulted with plumped fruit.

Glacé kumquats


If you have induction, this recipe overrides previous recipes. You will need very sharp paring knife, tweezers and heavy based induction stainless steel saucepan with a lid.

day one
Using scissors the kumquats from the tree leaving a small amount of stem. Wash them under cold running water. Spread a tea towel on your bench and gently dry them.

Weigh the kumquats and weigh out the same amount of fine caster sugar and set it to one side. Cut the kumquats in half and using the tweezers [yes it is a pain in the butt], however, it is worth the effort and you are still bound to have missed heaps.

Put the prepared kumquats and sugar into the sauce pan and very gently stir them over, cover and leave i a cool place. Set a timer for 4-5 hours.


day one continued…..
when the timer goes very gently stir them over, cover and elave in a cool place for 24 hours.

day two
induction 800W 80°C
At this point much of the sugar will have dissolved  but you will need to stir over occasionally to lift any remaining sugar from the bottom of the pan. Set a timer for 2 hours, when the timer goes cover with the lid slightly ajar and leave in a cool place.

day three
induction 800W 80°C
Set a timer for two hours, stir from time to time. When finished cover with the lid slightly ajar and leave in a cool place.

Here, if your kumquats were very underripe you might need to repeat the process another day….they should be looking like image below left. Very glossy and translucent.

Either when the kumquats are completely cold or next day drain off and let them drain for at least three hours.

Syrup to go into white spirit…yet to do!!

Lightly dehydrate the kumquats and pack into sterilised jars or vac…..yet to finish!


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