Our home is situated smack-dab in the middle of organic orange groves, literally in every direction. Some groves are privately owned. Some have long been abandoned, displaying tangled, untamed branches with plump winter fruit, shamefully never picked. But our favorite, the u-pick citrus groves just a mile down the road, are thankfully at our disposal whenever the trees are bearing fruit. Right now, they’re at their peak.
We piled into the car for the 2-minute drive and were greeted by miles of beautiful tangerines and kumquats. We of course had to taste-test before filling our bags, with kumquats being our favorite treat of the day.
Plucked right from the trees, we popped them into our mouths whole, skin and all — sweet with a tart finish, perfect for pickling or candied fruit. And that’s just what we did.
- 20 organic kumquats, washed and cut into quarters, lengthwise
- 3/4 cup local, raw honey
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- pinch of sea salt
- In a medium saucepan combine kumquats, honey, water, cinnamon stick and salt over medium heat. Bring to boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes.
- Strain kumquats; set aside. Reserve sugar syrup; discard cinnamon stick. Return sugar syrup to saucepan. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Cook until reduced by half.
- Return kumquats to pan; stir to combine. Transfer kumquats and syrup to a glass or ceramic container. Cover and refrigerate up to 7 days.
- Serve with sharp cheese and salami, smear on a baguette, or devour all by themselves.