Taste of the week: Kumquat conserve

©Jeff Kauck

My faithful little kumquat tree in Provence produces a year-round supply of these beautiful golden nuggets, giving me ample opportunity to make this tangy jam-like conserve that pairs wonderfully with fresh goat's milk cheese. It's always nice to have a supply in the pantry to take as a host gift when going to a dinner party, or to give to friends who come to stay.


Kumquat Conserve

Makes 1 quart (1 l)   |     Equipment: Eight 1/2-cup (125 ml) canning jars with lids.

1 1/2 pounds (750 g) unblemished fresh kumquats
2 cups (500 ml) fresh blood orange, mandarin orange, or regular orange juice
1 cup (200 g) unrefined cane sugar, preferably organic, vanilla scented (see Note)

  1. Stem the kumquats, halve them lengthwise, and remove and discard the seeds.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the kumquats, orange juice, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and simmer, skimming the surface as needed, until the juice is thick and the kumquats are soft and translucent, about 1 hour. Skim off and discard any recalcitrant seeds that float to the surface. Let cool.
  3. Transfer to the canning jars and secure the lids. (Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)


Note: To make vanilla-scented sugar: Flatten 1 or several moist vanilla beans. Cut them in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, scrape out the seeds and place them in a small jar; reserve the seeds for another use. Fully dry the vanilla bean halves at room temperature. Place the dry halves in a large jar with a lid, and cover them with sugar. Tighten the lid and store for several weeks to scent and flavor the sugar. Use in place of regular sugar when preparing desserts.

This recipe was first published in The French Kitchen Cookbook.

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