I love Nagami cumquats (kumquats). I love how small they are, and how perfectly designed they are to eat whole. The sweet skin and tart fruit are in sharp contrast, only well balanced if eaten together. However one or two fresh cumquats a day and I am done - hardly enough to eat my way through a cumquat season. So what to do with the rest of the harvest? Cumquat marmalade is nice, but you all know that I struggle to get through a jar of marmalade a year, let alone a dozen. Preserved in alcohol is also a respectable use of cumquats, but I normally only bring these out for dinner parties so, again, a jar or two a year will do. Enter pickled cumquats.
These little sweet, spiced, vinegary pickles solve a lot of problems for me. They are easy and quick to make. No waiting around for a setting point to be reached. They preserve the cumquats for use through the rest of the year, keeping their bright and vibrant colour. And they are really versatile. I love them best when coupled with something creamy like a goats curd. They are also a good companion to a leafy herb salad, roast pumpkin, or a cheese platter.
Looking for a cumquat recipe?
Let me know what you think of these cumquat pickles...
1kg cumquats, halved if small, quartered length ways if larger, pips removed
500ml white wine vinegar
400g sugar (I use white here so there is no impact on the colour)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp whole allspice berries
1/2 tsp cloves
1. Place all the ingredients aside from the cumquats in a large preserving pan. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
2. When at the simmer, add the cumquats and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
3. Bottle into sterilised jars, making sure each jar has a few whole spices and that the fruit is covered by the pickling liquid. Leave for 1-2 months before eating. Store in the refrigerator once opened.