Let’s face it: kumquats are tart. Some people (i.e. me) deal with it by eating them super-slowly. Others deal with the tartness by popping the entire kumquat in their mouth and chewing it really quickly. Still others pair kumquats with sugar, either preserving them or soaking them in a sugar syrup
Since my super-slow method of eating kumquats did not lend itself to using up our kumquats quickly enough and they were starting to wither ever so slightly, I decided to try one of the sugaring methods. Inspired by this post, I thought about preserving the kumquats. Having neither the know-how nor the tools for proper preserving, however, I decided to take a slightly easier route and followed Mark Bittman’s guide for macerating kumquats in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
To macerate fruit is essentially to marinate it some sort of liquid with a seasoning. For macerated kumquats, simply soak sliced kumquats in simple syrup and mint.
This is more of a method than a recipe. Thus, how much fruit you use depends on how much you have on hand or how much you want to end up with. Simple syrup (sugar syrup) is always made with a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water.You really only need enough simple syrup to cover the fruit by a few inches, but I decided to use extra simple syrup so I would have a kumquat-infused simple syrup left over to stir into a glass of sparkling water or iced tea.
- Mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Boil over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Slice the kumquats (I used ¾ pound). Slice a handful of fresh mint leaves.
- Place the kumquats and mint in a bowl. Pour the sugar syrup on top and let macerate until the kumquats are sweetened to your liking.
Delicious spooned over Greek yogurt. (I actually liked just a few kumquat slices on top of my yogurt and a generous spoonful of the sugar syrup on top. I know. I have a sweet tooth.)
A few other combinations of macerated fruit that Bittman recommends include:
- dates, garam masala and water with a splash of sherry or cider vinegar
- strawberries, freshly ground black pepper and balsamic vinegar
- pineapple, fresh tarragon leaves, a sprinkling of salt, lemon juice and water