This is not a kumquat peel. It's a clementine peel. I just liked how it looked. Now on to the kumquats - nature's Tear Jerkers!
If you've never eaten a kumquat, you must! They are quite unusual. They're not really sweet, but not really sour. You eat them whole; rind and all, and they sort of "pop" in your mouth. I found that I could only eat 2 or 3 at a time in their raw state, so I wanted to find a way to eat them faster. What makes everything taste better? Sugar, duh! Mary Poppins couldn't have said it better.
Get yourself some adorable kumquats. You'll need 10-12 ounces. Wash them well, and find a sharp knife.
Slice and slice and slice into small sections. You'll probably find some seeds. Pick those buggers out. No one likes to chomp on citrus seeds.
This is a two part cooking process: blanching then cooking. In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp. of salt to a boil. Add the kumquat slices and let simmer for 2 minutes. Drain off the water. Next, add 1/2 a pound of sugar (240g), 1 cup of water, and 3 oz. of corn syrup to the kumquats. Stir and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes or translucent. Scoop out the kumquats with a slotted spoon, and place on a screen or baking sheet. Separate them so you don't have giant blobs of kumquat.
Fancy yourself a cocktail drinker/maker? Use the reserved sugar water to make a kumquat infused simple syrup. Bring the sugar water to a boil. Let it lightly boil until a lot of the water has dissolved. The consistency should resemble honey. Let it cool a bit and pour into a bottle or lidded jar in the refrigerator.
Now let them dry. It's best to let them dry on a screen, but if you don't have one, like me, you can just put your soggy kumquat slices on a baking sheet and put them in the oven on a really low temp (175 degrees F) for a few hours. Worked just fine for me. Just don't forget that they are in there.
Toss them in a bit more sugar to coat.
Ta-Da! Candied citrus always makes an impression, and kumquats are just so danged cute!
Store your little gems in an air tight container, and mix yourself a cocktail.