A Kumquat Marmalade That Will Make you Re-Think That Orange One

by Pamela

kumquat marmalade, citrus fruit, kumquat, marmalade, relationship advice

In the big scheme of things, kumquats are like the little red headed bastard step child of the citrus fruit world. They’re too small to juice, you can’t peel them and eat sections of them and let’s face it…they’re not exactly stocked as much as oranges, tangerines and grapefruits. But that doesn’t mean you should just ignore them either. Make some kumquat marmalade.

I can’t resist those little oblong orange fruits. I think it has something to do with the fact that they’re so little and kinda on the cute side. What do I do with them? Usually, I just slice them up and toss them into salads. They’re so easy to use: wash, cut and toss. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Sometimes I take the time to pick out the little seeds, but usually I don’t (I haven’t had anyone complain yet.)

The littlest citrus fruit for making marmalade - the kumquat

And you all know how much I like to make infused liquors. 🙂 A couple of years ago I posted a cocktail recipe called The Kumquat Summer Tease that used kumquat infused vodka. If you like those store bought brands of citrus vodka, you’ll love that recipe.

But I was out of my usual stash of jam/jelly/preserves (fruit stuff to spread on my lunchtime pb&j) and I grabbed the brightest looking pint basked of kumquats I could find. These little babies were going into a kumquat marmalade. Yes Virginia…you CAN make a marmalade from something other than oranges. In fact, you can make marmalade from any citrus fruit.

I will say that this kumquat marmalade isn’t your typical marmalade by any stretch of the imagination. It’s made with a few more different ingredients than your standard recipe. (Anyone that’s surprised by this has not been reading this blog long enough…you need to read a few more of the older posts.) I’ll give you a couple of examples of these wierder different ingredients: rice wine vinegar, ginger, honey and cayenne. The flavor of this kumquat marmalade is really different from what you’re used to. It’s got a really nice tang that offsets the sweet and the addition of honey gives the whole thing a bit of a peach like flavor. You’ll swear there’s peaches in there somewhere.

Citrus Fruit Marmalad with Kumquats

I don’t know about you, but I use marmalade on a lot more than just pb&j sammies. I always serve a small container of it with a cheese plate, slather it on chicken breasts (pre and post cooking – or try mixing it up with some of your regular bbq sauce for different flavor) and I love to put it on pork. It adds great flavor to pork chops or a nice tenderloin. Using this kumquat marmalade has been even more delicious than when I use the usual stuff made with oranges.

Stop just admiring those little kumquats and add them to your cart/bag/rolling box and enjoy them. Their season isn’t too long (they’re also ridiculously inexpensive) and open up your citrus fruit world a little wider. You’re really going to love these things.

A Kumquat Marmalade That Will Make you Re-Think That Orange One
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kumquat marmalade isn't just for topping toast. This sweet and tart marmalade is great on a cheese plate, served with chicken or glazing grilled pork.
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
  • 1 Pint Kumquats (2¾ Cups Sliced - remove as many of the seeds as you can when slicing them)
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • ¼ Cup Lemon Juice
  • ½ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 1 Inch Piece Ginger (grated)
  • ⅓ Cup Sugar
  • ⅓ Cup Honey
  • Dash Cayenne
  1. Drop all of the ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan and stir to combine.
  2. Heat over medium high heat.
  3. Stay with the pan, because it will bubble and foam and you don't want this stuff boiling over. Once it starts to do that, reduce the heat to medium and stir.
  4. Stir the mixture from time to time to keep things from sticking to the bottom.
  5. You want to cook everything until it's thickened up. Not to the point that your spoon stays standing up all by itself - this will continue to thicken as it cools.
  6. I cooked mine for 20-25 minutes start to finish.
  7. Let it cool, remove the cinnamon stick, then spoon it into a jar.
  8. Keep refrigerated and will last 2-3 weeks.
This makes about 1½ cups of marmalade. Adjust the cayenne to your taste.


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foodwanderings July 21, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Pammy, just a brilliant post on so many levels. Off the bat I was laughing my ass off at this “In the big scheme of things, kumquats are like the little red headed bastard step child of the citrus fruit world” and the title of this post. The photographs captured so beautifully the essence of the fruit and this ‘jam’. I love your twist and it was so relatable when you said the touch of honey gives it a peachy flavor. Well I am in love with your marmalade. ahahah In israel they are mostly ornamental trees though my friend once in awhile will make a traditional straight forward marmalade with the fruit.

Pamela July 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

Thank you Shulie!

I think most people that have kumquat trees consider them more ornamental than one of their “prized” citrus trees. 🙂

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef July 20, 2013 at 8:04 am

When I lived in Orlando there was a parade every year called the Queen Kumquat Sashay for people who wouldn’t otherwise be in a parade – call it the opposite of the Citrus Bowl Parade. One year they had a woman chopping hotdogs and a man would run and pick up the pieces.. yep Lorena Bobbitt.

Then there was a drill team carrying briefcases and other madness. One year the grand marshal was a large cockroach.

The thing I didn’t like is everyone in the parade tossed kumquats at the crowd. It was silly but I loved it. 🙂 They stopped having the parade in 1997.

Now about your marmalade – I think I need to make this for old times’ sake. 🙂

I really do love your jam jar.

Pamela July 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

Maureen, I love that parade! We have one here called the Doo-Dah parade. It’s an “offshoot” of the Rose Bowl Parade. The characters marching in that one are just like the one’s you mentioned in the Kumquat Sashay. It’s ridiculously fun to watch. 🙂

You really should make a batch of this. I’m pretty sure John will inhale the stuff.

The jam jar was a recent find at an estate sale. I love Candlewick plates and glasses and this is a Candlewick jam jar. I was so stoked to find that it was complete too. Not only did it have the jar and lid, but the original glass spoon and plate. 🙂 I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to open an Etsy store with all the stuff I’ve been picking up lately. I’m running out of room. LOL

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