These little candied kumquats are perfect for sprinkling over baked goods, dipping into really good dark chocolate, adding to your yogurt, or just snacking on them straight out of the bag. As good as they are, however, the vanilla bean kumquat syrup that is a byproduct of the candying process is arguably the best part.
We made homemade sodas by adding a few teaspoons to a glass of sparkling water (“Tastes like a creamsicle!” and you can even add a splash of cream for a more literal version). You can drizzle it over pancakes or waffles, put it on ice cream, glaze pound cake, put it in your hot or iced tea, or add it to a mocha. And if you’re a regular here on A&C, you know how much we love our cocktails. Check back in with us soon for a cocktail using this vanilla bean kumquat syrup!
I had hoped for more of a sour patch kids effect with these, but my kumquats were too big. They were slightly more bitter and orange-flavored than the little sweet/tart ones that you can find in the States. I’m not sure why they let them get so big here in Japan, but they’re still delicious! They just turned out more like a traditional candied citrus peel than I wanted. Let me know how yours turn out if you make them!
- 2 cups kumquats (preferably organic)
- 1 cup + 1/4 cup vanilla bean sugar
- 1 cup water
- Wash the kumquats and remove the hard nub at the stem end of each kumquat. If you have small kumquats (grape size), cut them in half or into quarters, slicing from pole to pole. If you have large kumquats, like mine, cut them into quarters or eighths from pole to pole. Remove as many of the seeds as you can. They're edible, but they don't really add anything to candied kumquats.
- Combine 1 cup of the vanilla bean sugar and the water in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil and let the sugar dissolve.
- Add the kumquat slices and reduce the heat to a low boil. Stir often and cook for about 8 minutes, until the skins have just begun to soften.
- Use a small colander or sieve to strain the kumquats from the syrup. Now you have kumquat & vanilla bean syrup! Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Spread the kumquats in a single layer on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper. Make sure none of the kumquats touch each other, or they will stick together. Let dry for 8 hours or overnight, until they are just a little bit tacky.
- Put the remaining 1/4 cup vanilla bean sugar in a medium bowl. Add a handful of the kumquats and toss to coat them in the sugar. Remove the kumquats and repeat with the remaining kumquats in small batches.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Two years ago: Chinese sizzling rice soup