7 Great Ways to Use Kumquats

From Using Them Raw to Cooking Into a Jam

Kumquats, an orange-like fruit, are a winter produce available January to March or April. These little gems aren't around for too long, but when they are in season their bright, sweet-tart citrus flavor is stunning, irresistible, and addictive. When you're lucky enough to find these tiny citrus fruits, you want to enjoy them to the fullest, so choosing the right recipe is important. Also, make sure to stock up since you will probably find that kumquats tend to disappear in the blink of an eye.

Always choose bright, plump kumquats. They won't have much of an aroma, but their peels should look shiny and taut. Store kumquats at room temperature.

  • 01 of 07

    Eat Kumquats Whole Out of Hand

    Whole and Halved Kumquats
    Kumquats. Photo © Julie Benz/Getty Images

    This is one type of citrus fruit you don't peel! Kumquats are great just as they are, skin and all. The peel is actually a bit sweeter than the pulp, so eating them whole gives them a balanced flavor. Keep a bowl on the counter for an easy, vitamin C-packed snack. (You can spit out the seeds if you want, but they're edible too.)

    Look for organically grown kumquats, and make sure to rinse them clean and pat them dry no matter which type you buy. 

  • 02 of 07

    Add Kumquats to a Green Salad

    Endive Kumquat Salad. Photo © Molly Watson

    The sour tang of kumquats works great with many of the greens available in winter, especially endive and spinach. Halve, chop, or thinly slice the kumquats before adding them to the salad. One to try is an endive kumquat salad, made simply with fresh herbs, lemon juice, and a neutral oil.

  • 03 of 07

    Toss Kumquats In a Fruit Salad

    Crepes with Fruit Salad
    Citrus Fruit Salad with Crepes. Photo © Alanna Taylor-Tobin/Getty Images

    Kumquats—halved or chopped—add a tangy sweetness to fruit salads. They are extra delicious with kiwis (also a winter fruit)​ but consider simply combining them with other peeled and sliced citrus to achieve a delicious and colorful effect. A bit of mint also adds a brightness and freshness to the dish.

  • 04 of 07

    Preserve Kumquats

    Honeyed Preserved Kumquats. Photo © Molly Watson

    Preserving kumquats allows you to literally capture the fruit's sweet-tart flavor and seal it in a jar to use any time you like. Combined with a bit of diluted honey and some sugar, the result is luscious and beyond delicious. They aren't too much trouble to make, either. Serve them spooned on ice cream, plain yogurt, or even a dish of ricotta cheese. And the syrup surrounding the fruit is a fantastic glaze for pork or ham.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Cook Up Kumquat Marmalade

    Kumquat Jam
    Kumquat Marmalade. Photo © Harry Bischof/Getty Images

    A kumquat-orange marmalade is perfect for spreading on toast for a delightful start to the morning. Kumquats and orange are finely chopped in a food processor, combined with sugar, and boiled until thick. The jam will last up to two months in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer.

  • 06 of 07

    Make Kumquat Vodka

    Homemade cumquat liqueur
    Bill Boch / Getty Images

    Flavored vodkas are easy to come by in several fruit varieties, but finding one that is made with kumquats can be challenging. Luckily, making your own kumquat vodka couldn't be easier—it simply requires soaking some kumquats in vodka for a bit. The result is bright and fresh and citrusy...and boozy, of course. Delicious iced on its own, shaken into a martini , or mixed into fruity cocktails. And the liquor-soaked kumquats are the perfect cocktail garnish.

  • 07 of 07

    Bake Kumquats Into a Cake

    Incorporating kumquats into a cake is a wonderful way to enjoy this special fruit. Whether cut up and used as a topping or pureed and incorporated into the batter, kumquats bring an unexpected but welcome touch to an otherwise simple cake.

    Pureed kumquats are added to a batter tinged with ginger and studded with crushed almonds, making for a refreshingly different type of bundt cake. The sweet citrus taste of the fruit adds a nice hint of tartness, complemented by the glaze made of sugar, butter, and lemon juice.