Kumquats Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


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Originally from China, kumquat trees are small and sweetly-scented, with glossy dark green leaves. These contrast nicely with the ripening fruit, which look like miniature oranges. Kumquat trees make excellent container specimens as well as hardy garden shrubs. They are not a true citrus, although they are closely related, and can stand up well to the cold.

Most people find the fruit to be too bitter to eat raw*. Kumquat marmalade, however, is delicious. It has a flavour falling somewhere between citrus and apricot - quite different from other marmalades.

Kumquats are also delicious when combined with alcohol. As well as providing this recipe for kumquat liqueur, the Researcher recommends pairing kumquats with tequila.

Recipe for Kumquat Liqueur

  • Scrub clean and prick about 700g of kumquats with a fork.

  • Place them in a clean large glass jar with a well fitting lid.

  • Add 700g of sugar.

  • Pour in a bottle of brandy then cover with the lid.

  • Leave in a cool pantry for six months, swishing gently every month or so.

  • Strain off the liqueur.

The leftover brandied kumquats can be savoured as a dessert.

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