Candying fruit is a skill that I always assumed was far beyond my skills and abilities. By the way, isn't it fun to use the word candy as a verb?
As usual when it comes to these kinds of assumptions, I was wrong. You'll be hard-pressed to find a simpler task. The most tedious part, I found, was making sure all the seeds were out of the kumquats, but even that's optional because the seeds are edible!
I candied these kumquats to use in a muffin recipe I'll share with you later this week, but you can do a million different things with them. Top ice cream with them, throw them into any quick bread or cake batter, garnish frosted cupcakes, eat them plain straight from the fridge.
My favorite part of this doing this, believe it or not, wasn't the fruit. While the candied kumquats were phenomenal, the syrup was even better. See, once you're done making the little candies, you're left with a few cups of citrus-infused sugary syrup. I've been keeping it in the refrigerator in an airtight container and stirring it into my sparkling water to make homemade kumquat soda. It would also be phenomenal in a cocktail.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
1 pound kumquats, washed and patted dry (~4 cups)
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1. With a paring knife, cut the kumquats into quarters. If you prefer, discard the seeds, but they are edible so you can also leave them in.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar over high heat until boiling. Turn the heat down and simmer mixture for 4 minutes. Add the kumquats and simmer for 10 more minutes.
3. Set a sieve over a bowl and drain the kumquats. Return the syrup to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the syrup. Take about 1/4 of the syrup and stir it in with kumquats.
4. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.