The Pantry

Homemade Kumquat Conserve


Adapted from Patricia Wells’ book, The French Kitchen Cookbook

First Spring Cherry Blossoms

Making a conserve is generally simple. Isn’t it? It also revives in my memory the days my aunt Asun back home made apricot jam. I sometimes wonder, why I don’t make conserves, jams, marmalade more often? With nostalgia, I clearly remember the delicate color and smell of her apricot jam. Back then, no fancy jam pots she used. She used to keep her plain round jam jars in small pantry-refrigerator meticulously lined up. She was an extraordinary cook. A restaurateur. A restaurant owner, which she kept for many years.

Kumquats Conserve

She was known to locals for they way she cooked. For her homey rosquillas. People used to order ‘rosquillas’ or little homemade bite-size donuts with a gentle anis aroma to take home any day. Her loyal clientele became ‘almost family’ over the years. In her tribute, I decided to make a simple ‘conserve’ out of two pints of unblemished Kumquats, greatly inspired by Patricia Wells’ latest book, (which I can’t put down). This simple conserve adds a tangy flavor to hard or soft cheeses platters and helps spice up a plain morning yogurt or a fresh buttered toast. Making conserves at home feels good. Restorative. Heartwarming.  If you happen to have maybe a citrus tree right in your backyard, or a generous plant that produces year round, perhaps this recipe can help make that childhood marmalade or conserve you were hoping to savor again one day.


Kumquat Conserve

It turned out wonderful. Balanced. Delicate. It’s never late to pay tribute to our love ones, some who have already left us, and to our childhood indelible flavors, even if it brings wistful nostalgia.

Homemade Kumquats Jam-like Conserve
Cook time
Total time
: Pantry
: French
  • 500 grs Kumquats (about 2 pints)
  • 1 cup of sugar, vanilla scented
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange (or mandarin) juice
  1. Stem Kumquats. Halve them lengthwise and discard seeds In a medium saucepan combine, Kumquats, orange juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer or until the juice is thick, Kumquats are soft and translucent. Remove any small seed that may float to the surface. Let cool. Transfer to a round jar and secure the lid. May refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

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