I'm currently on Day 6 of this wretched summer cold and although it seems to be slowly dissipating, it's not taking a hike quick enough for the likes of me. Since these germs have become wily to the likes of my colds meds, last night I moved onto Plan B- dousing them with a few rounds of good ol' Kentucky bourbon (aka drinks with friends). I'm not quite sure how well my plan worked...I think my cold may have laughed at my attempt and thrown a party in response, but I did sleep well when I got home. C'est la vie! In the meantime, I haven't done any heavy duty cooking projects but I did get around to candying these lovely kumquats (that I got to pick straight from the tree this past weekend). I love kumquats, they're the cutest little fruits ever. Their name comes from the Cantonese word, "kam kwat," which means "golden orange," and in China they're used as a cold remedy. They look like teeny-tiny oranges but you can eat the whole thing, skin and all. The skin is sweet and the juicy flesh is super tart (it'll make you pucker and squinch up your face), which makes them perfect for candying, or making syrup or marmalade. Candied kumquats can be used for several purposes, my favorites being: as a topping on ice cream, mixed in with Greek yogurt, diced up and mixed in with salad vinaigrette or used as a garnish for summer cocktails. They're also great as a topping on pound cakes, paired with cheeses or cooked with savory dishes like pork.
2 cups of kumquats, halved & pips removed
2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup of water
1 vanilla bean
pinch of Kosher salt
1. Place the sugar, honey, salt and water in a medium-sized pot. Split the vanilla bean length-wise and scrape out the seeds with a knife or spoon. Add the vanilla bean pod and seeds to the pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. (Stir the mixture to make sure it does not burn.) Reduce the heat to medium and add the kumquats.
2. Simmer the kumquats in the syrup, stirring occasionally, until the skins become tender and translucent.
3. Using a slotted spoon, remove and place the candied kumquats in a glass jar. Discard the vanilla bean pod.
4. Continue to simmer the syrup over medium-low heat. It should reduce and takes on a syrup-like consistency. Remove from stove, pour over the kumquats. Allow to cool, then cover. Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours, before consuming.
5. Can be stored for up to 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container.