for 1 pound of fruit
Wash kumquats in cool soapy water, then rinse really well in cool running water. Remove the stems and slice each kumquat in half through the center of the fruit (not end to end, but like, around the equator). Now remove the seeds. The amount and size of seeds varies from fruit to fruit. I find it helps to squeeze the kumquat half just a bit, in order to push the big seeds out. Only worry about the big seeds, the ones that get squeezed out. Don’t stress about the little ones – when this is all through, you’ll never even know they’re there.
Now, combine the water and sugar in a cooking pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve all of the sugar. Add the vanilla bean half and its seeds to the syrup. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, then add the kumquat halves and stir to combine. Return to a simmer, and then adjust the heat to keep the simmer at a bare minimum. Continue to simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat. Remove the vanilla bean half and discard. Remove kumquats with a slotted spoon, and set aside. Return the syrup to the heat and simmer gently for 5 more minutes.
At this point, you can fill canning jars near-full with the candied fruit, cover them with the syrup, and then follow a basic canning procedure, in order to keep these at room temperature for up to a year. (Any left-over syrup is great on its own too. You can jar this too, all by itself.) Or you can combine the kumquats and syrup, allow them to cool to room temperature, and then store refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
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