Good Things Kum(quat) In Small Packages

Good Things Kum(quat) In Small Packages

I’ve always loved small things. As a kid, I would collect stamps and tiny coins from around the world and my favorite candies were the bite-sized Skittles, gummy bears and M&Ms. Some of my favorite films were Fantastic Voyage and Innerspace, where people were shrunk to the size of an atom. Today, my kitchen drawer is filled with small spoons and my cupboards are packed with little ramekins. I enjoy small bites and now I have a blog with the word “morsel” in its name.

So, it’s not surprising that I was intrigued by these mini citrus fruits called kumquats. While talking to some friends, I realized that none of us really knew what they tasted like. This inspired me to serve them at my next dinner party, where I surprised my friends with a dessert of kumquats three ways – raw, candied with simple syrup, and baked to make kumquat glass.


Kumquats are juicy citrus fruits that are currently in season. They are native to China and derive their name from the Cantonese words for “golden” (gam) and “orange” (gwat). There are many types of kumquats but the ones most commonly available in the US are the oval shaped Nagami kumquats. They are rich in Vitamin C with high amounts of B-Complex vitamins and calcium.

Kumquats are meant to be eaten whole once their seeds have been removed. Unlike all other citrus fruits, their delicately thin peels are the sweetest part of the fruit while their flesh and juice are tart. Eaten whole, they have a pleasantly balanced sweet and sour flavor. They can be sliced into salads, added to martinis in place of olives or cooked the way I served them at my party.

How To Cook Kumquats

I started by cutting the kumquats into thin slices and removing their seeds. I placed some of the slices in a bowl to be served raw. I then boiled water and sugar to make simple syrup. I poured some of the syrup into a bowl to cool down. I dipped some of the kumquat slices into the cold syrup, laid them out on a baking sheet and baked them until they turned into delectably chewy pieces of sweet-tart kumquat glass. Next, I cooked the rest of the kumquat slices in the hot syrup until they softened to make candied kumquats and a mild orange flavored syrup.

Kumquat Dessert

I served small bowls of vanilla ice cream topped with my favorite chocolate sauce and let my guests choose their kumquat toppings. They were, without a doubt, a hit! You can also use the candied kumquats to elegantly garnish a flute of champagne or any dessert you may be craving. I may add them to my next bowl of oatmeal, since I can’t seem to get enough of them!

Try this out and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear of how you’re eating kumquats this season. Last but not least, thank you to my husband (aka the best editor!) for the title of this post.


A printable list of ingredients and directions are at the end of this post,
along with an image of this Perfect Morsel.

Granulated Sugar

For the simple syrup: Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium low high heat.

Simple Syrup

Turn the heat low and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is a clear syrup. Approximately 3 minutes. The longer you boil it, the thicker the syrup with be when it is cooled. Set saucepan aside.

Kumquat Slices

Starting from one end to the other, cut the kumquats into thin round slices. Remove and discard the bitter seeds.

Kumquats Slices in Simple Syrup

For the kumquat glass: Pour 3 tablespoons of the syrup into a bowl. Once the syrup is cool enough, dip half of the kumquat slices into the syrup.

Syrup Covered Kumquat Slices

Individually lay out the syrup coated slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure to keep some space between each piece.

Baked Kumquat Slices

Bake for 1 hour at 175F, flip the pieces and bake for another 20 minutes.

Kumquat Glass

The sugar forms a glass coating on the fruit and turns them into delectably chewy pieces of dried fruit.

Bowl of Kumquat Glass

Place the dried kumquat pieces into a bowl and set aside.

Kumquat Slices in Hot Simple Syrup

For the candied kumquats: Add the remaining half of the kumquat slices to the saucepan with the rest of the hot syrup and return to the stove.

Simmering Kumquat Slices

Stir often and simmer over a low flame until the slices softened to make the candied kumquats and kumquat flavored syrup. Approximately 10 minutes.

Candied Kumquats with Kumquat Simple Syrup

Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.

Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce and Kumquats

Garnish your cocktails and desserts. I love eating them with a small bowl of vanilla ice-cream topped with my favorite chocolate sauce.

Perfect Morsel: Kumquats

Here’s a perfect morsel of creamy vanilla ice cream, roasted sweet chocolate sauce and a chewy sweet-tart kumquat glass.


  1. Ashley says

    This is AMAZING!!! I just got done cooking both recipes. I used the candied kumquats and some of the syrup on my homemade cheesecake. YUM-EEE! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe :)

    • says

      So excited that you tried this out, Ashley! Homemade cheesecake?? Now that sounds amazing. I’ll have to try it out with cheesecake. Thanks for writing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>