It’s Cumquat Time!

2013 10 04_0954 copy

“Oh no!”, I hear you groan, “She is not at it, again!”  Yes, I am afraid, I am.

Horst and Renate (my neighbours) have gone on a small holiday to check out the wild flowers.  Luckily, before they went, I sneaked in a “Can I pick some of your cumquats while you are away?” request.

Just in case all the ideas I gave you last year to use your cumquats weren’t enough, I have two ideas for this year and both are savoury.  Today’s recipe is a cumquat sauce.  Now, I have to admit, Maus was not too keen on this sauce.  She thought it a bit citrusy! Duhhh…

I really liked it but, be warned, it is quite intense.  This sauce would be perfect with duck or something a bit stronger than chicken.  I served it with chicken breasts and the sauce was a wee bit overpowering but, to my taste, lovely.

For those who are not really big on pepper, you may wish to reduce the amount. When I first tasted the sauce (in the pot), I thought there was too much pepper (which is saying something since I am very big on pepper) but it very quickly mellowed and, when served, I thought it was just right.

This recipe is from the Australian Women’s Weekly Fruit and Vegetable Cookbook.


  • 500g cumquats, chopped
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 tbs* whole black peppercorns (you may wish to reduce the amount)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs* cranberry sauce
  • 2 small (or 1 large) chicken stock cubes, crumbled
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbs* brandy

*These are 20 mil tablespoons


  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the brandy, in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to the boil.  Boil rapidly, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat, simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Discard the bay leaves.
  5. Blend or process cumquat mixture until almost smooth then strain.  I used a spoon to push out as much pulp as possible.  I am not certain if this was intended but the sauce had the right consistency.
  6. Place strained mixture in clean saucepan over heat.  Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.
  7. Stir in brandy.
  8. Serve with poultry – I think duck would be perfect.

9 thoughts on “It’s Cumquat Time!

  1. Cumquat – citrus and pepper – I think would be a great combination. I will look out for cumquats, as I have a good source of duck, but I think maybe even with fish this sauce would be good.

  2. I know what a cumquat is but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in our markets here. I know I’ve never tried them but they sound good to me, especially in a sauce. You’ve got nice neighbors too.

    • Hi Diane, We don’t see them in the market here but a lot of people grow the tree in a pot as it is very ornamental and small. That is why I am trying to encourage people to use their fruit. It is just a pity to waste it.

  3. I’ve no experience at all with cumquats and think I should take a look around in your archives. It’s time I find out about them. Maybe I should start by finding out when they’re in season here. 🙂

    • Hi John. They will be in season when oranges, lemons etc are in season. They appear, however, to ripen a little later than most citrus and hold on the tree extremely well. Last year, I picked some of Renate’s that were still on the tree in early summer. They are not to everyone’s taste fresh. The skin is sweet but the flesh a little tart – a great combo if you ask me. Because the tree is so ornamental, in Australia, many people grow them in pots on their verandahs, most however, don’t use the fruit which is a pity. It would make a lovely marmalade, you can soak them in brandy or make a cumquat syrup with them. I get a little exasperated with people who don’t use food that is (literally) at their front door.

Please, leave a comment - it makes me feel loved.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.