Kumquat marmalade is a delicious use of this tiny orange, tart and tangy fruit. A delicious preserve that can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. The kumquat is a different kind of citrus. They come with a sweeter peel and pulp which are perfect for preserving or using in a variety of recipes. Even the seeds are edible.

A jar of kumquat marmalade with some spread onto bread

What are kumquats?

Kumquats look like mini oranges  with an interesting name that is Chinese for small citrus orange. Native to South Asia and  the Asia-Pacific, there are 3 varieties of the fruit, in this recipe I’m using the oval. They also come in round and the Jiangsu variety which can be round or bell shaped.

Kumquat marmalade spread onto bread on a plate

What is the difference between marmalade and jam?

Marmalade is a preserve that is made with citrus fruit including the peel making it typically chunkier.  Jam (or jelly) is made with the pulp and juice of other fruits.

In the process of making this marmalade, I couldn’t help think about spreading it on a lovely warm scone with clotted cream, think I might have to make some.

Kumquats cut open and seeds removed

When it comes to chopping the kumquats, I found that if you cut them lengthwise you can see the seeds and remove them easier. If you find when you cut them, that the white pith inside looks really dry, remove it.

To save yourself from chopping madness, I found that putting the halves in the food processor and pulsing makes for a much quicker process than trying to finely chop by hand. This is also helps release some of the juices and oils from the zest.

Chefs Tips

  1. To test if the marmalade has boiled enough to set, place a place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Drop a little of the marmalade mix onto the plate and freeze for 1 minute. If it sets, it is ready.
  2. When you are ready to transfer the marmalade to your jars, pour the marmalade into a glass measuring jug, that makes for easy transfer into the jars.

Canning/preserving kumquat marmalade

Per the USDA, jars do not need to be sterilized prior to using a water canning bath if being boiled for 10 minutes or longer, which applies in this case.

This canning method is for a simple water bath. Make sure you are using proper canning jars (the ones in my pictures are just for the photos and not for canning/preserving). Place a round wire rack in the bottom of a deep pan (or canning pot). You must elevate the jars off the bottom of the pan to prevent them from breaking. Fill the pan with water (it should cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches). Bring the water to a boil, use tongs to carefully add the filled and sealed jars, cover with a lid and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars carefully.

Yield: 10

Kumquat Marmalade

A crusty piece of bread topped with kumquat marmalade

With a sweet peel and tart pulp, kumquats are perfect for jams and marmalade.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 12 ounces (340 grams) Kumquats
  • 1 1/2 cups (352 ml) water
  • 1 cup (235 ml) fresh orange juice
  • 3 cups (675 grams) fine sugar
  • 1 candy thermometer *  see note
  • 4 jars with lids, see note, sterilized **


  1. Cut the Kumquats lengthwise and remove any seeds and dry pith. Add to the food processor and pulse until very small.
  2. To a medium saucepan, add all the ingredients. Stir until combined over medium heat. Attach candy thermometer to the pan.
  3. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the temperature reaches 220° F/104° C on the candy thermometer. Skim any foam that is on the top.
  4. Pour the hot mix into sterilzed jars (see note) and seal. Allow to set for 24-48 hours.


* If you don't have a candy thermometer, place a small plate in the freezer for an hour before you start. To test if the marmalade is ready, drop a little onto the plate and if it gels, it's ready.

** To sterilize the jars, wash with warm soapy water and rinse well. Arrange the jars and lids onto a baking sheet and leave in a preheated, 175 degree F/80 degree C oven for 25 minutes. Or, boil the jars and lids in large saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes. Allow to dry completely.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 334Sodium 7mgCarbohydrates 84gFiber 2gSugar 81gProtein 1g