Kumquat tea is the best for sore throats and coughs. You make that by first drying out fresh kumquats in the sun for a few days, then storing in an air-tight glass jar filled with sea salt. Let that sit in your basement for at least a month. When you want to make the tea, you remove a couple of the dried, preserved kumquats from the jar (that has been sitting in your basement for a month), steep it with boiling water, and add a few spoonfuls of honey for a great home remedy to cure sore throats and coughs. I’m not a big fan of kumquat tea or jars of salted fruit that’s been sitting in my basement. So I present to you candied kumquats, a great alternative. It still works and in fact helped soothe my sore throat and dry cough that I came down with over the weekend.
The fruits from our kumquat tree are pretty small, so I halved them only. If your kumquats are larger or like the store-bought ones, then you may want to quarter them. I pulled out all of the interior, which can be reserved for making tea or tossing with dark green leafy salads (either kale or baby spinach salads). The skin is the sweetest part, so I only make this candy with the skins. Rinse them very well and let soak with a teaspoon of sea salt for 20 minutes. Then rinse again thoroughly and pat dry. Next, add a couple tablespoons of sugar. I eyeball this, so I don’t have exact measurements. If you know you like it really sweet, load up the sugar. If you like that sweet-sour tang, then less sugar.
Let it sit coated in sugar for another 20 minutes. Some liquid will start to come out. Pour all of it into a sauce pan and cook on low heat.
You have to watch the pan the entire time. Patience is the key here. You have to be incredibly patient. Personally, I’ll place my giving hand over the cooking kumquats and recite mantras for the entirety of the cooking period as a form of energy infusion to amplify the healing properties of the candied kumquats, at least metaphysically.
Stir gently with a spatula, and constantly. Keep a cup of water nearby just in case. If all the liquid is reduced but the kumquats are not yet cooked through, drip in a little bit of water to continue the syrup making. Now let it cook…
…and cook… with continued gentle stirring and mantra recitations… and eyeballing to see if you need to add a little more water… …and cook. For just two handfuls (my hands full) of fresh kumquats, I cooked and reduced this down for 25 minutes. You will know that the candied kumquats are ready when they intensify in color and look glassy.
Transfer into a glass jar and wash the pot immediately. If you wash the pot and spatula under hot water immediately, then it’s not such a big deal. If you procrastinate and wait, it’s going to be hell to wash later.
These will last for a long time, though I don’t know how long, because in my house, a jar of candied kumquats has never lasted longer than a week. They’re that good.
They’re sweet, chewy like fruit snacks, have that hint of citrus tang, and if you’re suffering from a cough or sore throat, seem to do wonders for soothing those ailments.
Dessert-wise, they’re also great as toppings on vanilla ice cream. A cheesecake slice or lemon bar garnished with a single candied kumquat is not only beautiful when plated and presented to guests, but delicious. Metaphysically, kumquats correspond with both health and wealth. When integrated into energetic practices, these fruits will help amplify longevity and prosperity. In feng shui, a small potted kumquat tree placed in the southeast area of the home or one planted outdoors in the yard is said to generate greater material wealth and more financial opportunities. When mantras are keyed toward these intentions and recited while cooking the candied kumquats, you can turn these candied kumquats into yummy, edible blessings.