Candied Thyme Kumquats

Candied Thyme Kumquats (01) by MeetaK 

I would definitely say that tangy citrus fruits have been the dominant ingredient in my kitchen the past few weeks. I’ve been hit by a surge of ideas and needed to realize them, at best all at once. I get impatient – when inspiration hits me I get all fidgety and need to work on the ideas as soon as possible.

It started with a bag of juicy, sweet blood oranges. After they disappeared within a wink of the eye, I went back and bought two further bags. I used some for the blood orange mascarpone cream, which was great but then ideas began pouring out of me and I was soon making blood orange savory and sweet recipes. Salads, stews, gelato and mousse all got a doze of blood oranges.

My OCD with citrus fruit continued when I saw gorgeous kumquats at the store this week and trust me I went back three times to replenish my desire for them.

Candied Thyme Kumquats Diptych (01) by MeetaK

My favorite way to enjoy kumquats? Why preserving them of course! So that I can indulge in them throughout the year. I tried something different with them this time, which worked out incredibly well – but I’ll tell you about that recipe next week.

Today I am sharing one of my guilty pleasures in life – after chocolate and everything chocolate that is. I adore candied fruit – not always the kinds you can buy in stores – more the kind made at home. Sticky, sweet and gorgeously luscious, candied citrus fruit being my absolute favorite. It’s the pairing of the zesty and tangy fruit playing off against the sweet syrup that does it for me. I also like adding a supplementary flavor to boost the aromas in my candied fruit. Spices and herbs bring a great additional essence and takes simple candied fruit to a whole different level. 

Candied Thyme Kumquats (03) by MeetaK

Kumquats are truly perfect for candying – they have a unique flavor and can be paired with sweet and savory dishes quite easily. Kumquats are eaten whole skin and all – their wonderful complex flavor comes from the tart flesh and thick, sweet peel. You’ll notice a fresh and very citrusy scent followed by a slightly pungent almost bitter taste with an oily undertone and an after-taste that is reminiscent of apricots. With this bomb full of aromas it great for fruit jams, marmalades and candying. I added a sprinkling of thyme, which blends and enhances the flavors so perfectly. 

Candied Thyme Kumquats

Printable version of recipe here


120ml water
100g fine granulated sugar
2-3 springs thyme
250-300g fresh kumquats, sliced (see note below)


  1. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a heavy medium sized saucepan.

  2. Add the kumquat slices, reduce heat to a simmer and gently cook the fruit for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and the syrup is thick.

  3. Add the sprigs of thyme and allow to steep for a few minutes, then remove from heat.

  4. Allow for the fruit to cool then fill the fruit and herbs, adding some of the syrup, into a sterilized jar

Notes: My advice would be to give the kumquats a quick blanch in some boiling water, then discard the water. If they have been heavily treated you will be able to get rid of the chemicals. This does not effect the taste in anyway. 

Food Guide

Have a browse through my Food Guide section on the sidebar. You’ll find several brilliant tips, tricks, know-hows and food facts.

You’ll find exciting tips for making perfect macarons, luscious éclairs  or how to make your own homemade quark.

Want to know how to store and select apricots or the what to pay attention when buying oranges or what butter oil is? The Food Guide will reveal all!



Candied Thyme Kumquats (02) by MeetaK

My snacking tip: some delicious simple home baked shortcrust cookies with a few dollops of the candied kumquats, put your feet up and enjoy the break of Spring!

My dessert tip: Bourbon vanilla ice-cream (homemade of course) with a spoonful of the candied kumquats and syrup. Scrumptious!

My breakfast tip: French toast and a nice slathering of the candied kumquats and a drizzle of the syrup. Exquisite!

I’ll also be sharing a lovely dessert with you next weekend and show you another delectable way to use these candied thyme kumquats – so maybe you’d like to make these ahead of time ;o)

Have a great weekend

You might like these fruity spreads from WFLH:

Lemon Curd Apricot Chutney Spicy Raspberry Jam


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Luved the first click beautiful and colorful!

  2. looks gorgeous...i want that shortcrust topped one!!

  3. Really like this, Meeta! Too bad it's really hard for me to get kumquats here.

  4. That combination is very interesting and so unusual! A terrific idea!



  5. You really know how to entice some one with food!...Love how you prepared the kumquats Meeta...delicious!

  6. Those are the most beautiful kumquats -- like little jewels!

  7. This looks irresistable Meeta! I've made kumquat marmalade are right they are perfect for preserving with their sweet skin!

  8. Candied kumquats are right up my street. They make a great topping for cream patesserie pies too! Love the thyme added in there... just beautiful Meeta!

  9. Tried a kumquat once when I was a kid and dad made us try one. Hated it but don't remember why. But candied? I'll bet it really accentuates the citrus flavor. They look beautiful! And I'll bet dipped in chocolate....

  10. Kumquats are great! I love then in salads. Candied kumquats must be delicious!

  11. The photos have so much colour, makes me want to reach into the jar!

  12. I am going to give this a try. Lovely vibrant colors!

  13. Hi Meeta - love the styling and thank you for the recipe. I have got a tree of calamansi and I am determined to make your recipe with them!

  14. This looks delicious and I love your tips! I haven't had kumquats in ages... must keep an eye out for them.

  15. c'est superbe, quelle jolie couleur, j'adore Bravo

  16. I have never made candies kumquats but these look amazing! So beautiful. And your suggestion of having them over bourbon ice cream... wow! Yum! Thank you!

  17. looks fantastic Meeta..with nice click

  18. Just loved this post! I have 2 very prolific sweet (not sour) kumquat trees here (among other citrus) in Florida. Made loads of marmalade recently. I have lots of thyme in my garden and had never thought to combine the two! So this is next on my list to make, Thank You!

    Question: You suggested blanching them to get rid of the chemicals. First, blanch them before or after slicing? Second, since mine are pesticide free, can I skip that step or do you think it helps get the cooking process started?

    Thank You Kindly!!

  19. i just made some this weekend too. I guess its Kumquat season. We had some guest over and all the to be 2 year old would eat was the candied Kumquats. I am going to make some kumquat marmalade butter with whats left of mine and try some it with toasted pain d'epice

  20. i just said to myself the other day, "oh how i wish blood oranges were in season all year round." i love them and how bright and vibrant they are, the surprise of what color is inside - or how sweet or acidic too. i add them to fruit salads, savory salads and just eat 'em up on their own.

    i have to admit though... i have never tried kumquats. ok, that's not true, i can picture the ONE time i did, it was in paris in 1999 and i spat it out immediately. it wasn't candied, i think that was the problem, haha ! and i think it's time to try again ! ;)

    your pictures here are even more spectacular than always - just outstanding, wow !!

  21. thank you so much everyone for your comments - so glad you are liking the candied thyme kumquats. the thyme is the special highlight here i promise.

    jessi - you can blanch them sliced for this. but if you have them growing in your back garden (you lucky thing) you can skip the process. have fun and let me know how it went!

  22. I've only tasted kumquats once and I didn't like it that much. But I think I might like this candied version, especially with the Bourbon vanilla ice-cream! ;)

  23. I never know which to focus on Meeta... the pics, your story or the actual recipe... everytime I come here, I'm torn in different directions :)

  24. I've never eaten kumquats but I love the combination of sweet things with thyme. I will look out for them here, candied or otherwise.

  25. I love the packaging, and I'm really intrigued by the herb-citrus combination! We almost never get kumquats here though - in fact I've never seen one :(

  26. These are GORGEOUS!!! Oh, such a happy, cheerful creation. :-)

  27. My K has made candied kumquats before, but without any herbs. I can see how thyme would be a nice addi(c)tion here ;)

  28. this looks amazing. i used to have a kumquat tree in my backyard in LA. you reminded of it:)

  29. We share a kumquat tree with our neighbor, and most of the fruit just goes to waste. So thanks for the idea, I'll have to try this recipe. And definitely love the french toast suggestion!

  30. I think I'm in love... don't even recall the last time I saw fresh kumquats - but these are a fantastic way to use them!

  31. Love your candied kumquats with thyme...this is really a gifts from the gods


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